Columbia High's girls soccer team kicked off the 2006 season last week with a pair of five-goal performances.
The Bruins (2-0) opened on Sept. 12 with a 5-1 come-from-behind victory over Trico Division opponent Kalama.
Columbia trailed, 1-0, at halftime but erupted for five goals during a 12-minute span of the second half to take complete control of a match it had, more than less, dominated from the outset.
Johanna Zimbelman netted two goals and Whitney Reynier came off the bench to contribute three assists for the visiting Bruins, who outshot the Chinooks, 23-3.
The Bruins evened the score at a goal apiece in the 57th minute of play when junior Naomi Halpern converted a penalty kick that resulted from a foul on Reynier inside the goal box.
Columbia then took the lead for good just over three minutes later when Zimbelman scored off an assist from Reynier.
Reynier also played a part in the scoring of Columbia's third and fourth goals, which came in the 63rd and 65th minutes, respectively.
Chelan Weiler scored to make it 3-1 and Shannon McNallan found the back of the net for a 4-1 CHS advantage.
Zimbelman concluded the scoring in the 69th minute with an assist from Halpern.
Columbia's second-half scoring spree represented a big turnaround from its scoreless first-half effort, according to substitute coach Peter Knowles. (Bruins Coach Amy Kasenga missed the match due to illness.)
"During the second half, the team really started to take better shots," Knowles said. "We had 12 shots in the second half; five for goals, and five on goal but saved. Only two of our shots were off target."
In contrast, the Bruins took 11 shots in the first half, but six of those were either high or wide of the goal.
"We had many chances in the first half but were we just a little bit off," Knowles said, noting that was due in part to the match starting an hour later than scheduled--the referee arrived late--and in part to CHS playing its first match with a new system.
Kalama made the most of CHS's slow start by scoring on an unassisted shot from midfield in the 32nd minute.
But the Chinooks weren't able to build any momentum as the Bruins' midfielders, including Halpern, McNallan, Weiler, Anna Anderson and Michelle McMillen, took control of the field.
And when Kalama managed to get past midfield, defenders Kaci Kreps, Rebecca Wellman and Brenda Maya "did a great job of breaking down Kalama's attacks before they could get in striking distance, and that kept the game close," Knowles said.
Columbia finally broke through 10 minutes into the second half, after Knowles inserted Reynier in the lineup at her request. (Reynier had not been expected to play against Kalama; she had practiced only lightly in the days leading up to CHS's season opener because of an injury and had only been cleared to resume full contact the day before the match.)
"As she entered the game, then began connecting passes and assisting on goals, the entire team seemed to lift their spirits and smile," Knowles said. "She ended up being the missing cog in our machine. The passes started to hit their marks, and so did the shots."
Overall, Knowles gave the Bruins good marks for the improvements they made during the course of the match.
"As a first game, with a new system of play and new responsibilities, and a substitute coach, the team played very well," Knowles said. "If they can stay healthy and continue to support each other, they should be a team to worry about in the Trico and the SW Washington 1A League."
At Columbia 5, Rock On 2 --
The Bruins pulled away in the second half to win last Thursday's SWW 1A "friendly" against the Mossyrock/Onalaska/Napavine combine.
Joanna Villa, Johanna Zimbelman and Chelan Weiler scored a goal apiece after the break to help the Bruins improve to 2-0.
Columbia jumped to the lead in the fourth minute on a Whitney Reynier-assisted goal by Shannon McNallan.
Zimbelman made it 2-0 in the 11th minute off an assist by Villa.
Four minutes into the second half, Villa got her turn to accept teammates' congratulations when she scored unassisted to give the Bruins a 3-1 edge.
Rock On closed within 3-2 with a goal in the 45th minute but got no closer as Zimbelman finished a scoring opportunity in the 49th for her fourth goal of the season and a 4-2 CHS lead.
Weiler's goal in the 73rd minute sealed the deal for the Bruins, who ended up outshooting the visitors, 22-10.