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CHS Girls Soccer

Bruins open season with pair of non-league wins

Non-league victories over Stevenson and La Center last week marked the start of the 2005 prep girls soccer season at Columbia High.

The Bruins knocked in 12 goals in those two matches and surrendered three.

Versus Stevenson here Sept. 7, Columbia got goals from six players and led from start to finish en route to a 9-2 win.

"We never trailed and it was never tied," said Bruins Coach Amy Kasenga, who was somewhat surprised yet heartened by the Bruins' offensive outburst.

"In one sense it was surprising to have so many players contributing," she noted. "In another, because we subbed liberally throughout, it felt good that in doing that we could still maintain a high level of play in our first match out."

Columbia outshot Stevenson, 23-10, as further evidence of its domination of play.

"Seven of their shots were by one player while ours were by a mix of just about everybody," Kasenga said.

Shannon McNallan scored a hat trick--one goal in the first half, two in the second--to pace the Bruins.

Chani Weiler provided two goals and Johanna Zimbelman netted one in the first half to help CHS build a 4-1 advantage.

Columbia also got second-half goals from Kelley McNallan, Naomi Halpern and Mackenzie VanLaar.

Stevenson's goals came off the foot of Kaitlyn Richards, whose penalty kick in the first half beat goalkeeper Kelsey Kidd and cut CHS's lead to 2-1. Kidd finished with eight saves.

At La Center on Sept. 8, Shannon McNallan and Halpern scored second-half goals to send the Bruins past the Wildcats, 3-1.

La Center led early on a goal by Shay Cheeseman, who scored off a long pass from Katie Rinaker that Kasenga attributed to a "defensive breakdown" by CHS.

However, "we weren't panicked," Kasenga said upon being down 1-0. "I just reinforced the message that we were here to work out the kinks and not worry about the score."

Eventually, the Bruins drew even as Weiler booted the equalizer before the close of the half, which ended in a 1-1 deadlock.

In the second half, Columbia took full control of the match, monopolizing the possession game. The Bruins outshot the Wildcats, 7-0, in the second half after being outshot, 7-3, in the first.

"That's one of the things we've been focusing on," Kasenga said, "keeping possession of the ball and being patient with our passing."

That approach netted the Bruins two goals and their second victory.


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