Savannah Story scored on a breakaway in the 78th minute last Thursday to lift Colum-bia High to a 1-0 victory over Toledo/Winlock United in Trico League girls soccer action.
The win was the Bruins’ eighth of the season and first of the second half of league play. With six matches re-maining in the regular season, Columbia has a firm handle on second place in the standings.
According to Bruins Coach Amy Kasenga, Columbia’s matches at Toledo are always closely contested, physical, and usually decided by one goal. Last Thursday’s meeting was no different.
“We were very happy to get out of there without having to go to overtime,” Ka-senga said.
Columbia finished the match with 19 shots on goal (United tallied 12), but none were bigger than Story’s shot in the closing minutes of regulation.
“Savannah kept her composure under pressure from their defense, dribbled the ball about 30 yards to their 18-yard line, then slipped her shot past the goalkeeper into the bottom right corner from the keeper’s perspective,” Kasenga noted.
In the first half of action, Columbia put 10 shots on goal to United’s six, to no avail. “It was clear we were winning possession of the ball more,” Kasenga said of CHS’s first-half effort. “We got out of our rhythm and it took us until the second half to regain it. When we did, we put on the heat.”
Kasenga cited the play of Juliet Knowles in her role as an attacker for the offense, and praised her team for not allowing Toledo/Winlock’s physical defensive play to upset its game plan.
“It was physical, but it wasn’t brutal or unacceptable,” Kasenga said. “My team has turned the corner on being physically manhandled. We have worked on using our bodies to keep from being beat up.”
Woodland 2, at Columbia 0: The visiting Beavers snap-ped the Bruins’ seven-match winning streak in winning the Oct. 10 showdown in Bruin Stadium.
Woodland scored in the second minute of play on a breakaway and again in the 39th minute due to a CHS defensive breakdown around the goal box.
“We went into the match with a good attitude, knowing we had nothing to lose,” Kasenga noted. “And even though we lost, we still felt pretty positive when we were done.”
Columbia missed an early scoring opportunity of its own when Caitlin Scott’s header off a corner kick sailed over the crossbar in the opening minute.
“That was a problem we had all game,” Kasenga said. “Everything we put on goal was high.”
The Bruins tallied seven shots on goal in the first half and finished with 16. Wood-land attempted nine first-half shots and 16 total. Savannah Story took four shots for CHS, and Olivia Grim and Sofia Terner each recorded three.
“The second half of play we were very even,” Kasenga said, attributing the standoff in part to an outstanding performance from Columbia’s defenders.
“Olivia Grim, Kylene Olin, and Mailisa McNally did a great job of shutting down many of their attacks in the second half.
Goalkeeper Samantha Spaeth finished with 12 saves, while her Woodland counterpart registered five saves.
Coming up: The Bruins were slated to play two matches this week, both in Vancouver. They visited King’s Way on Tuesday and will take on Seton Catholic tonight. Next Tuesday, CHS and Castle Rock will play their rematch in Bruin Sta-dium.