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COLUMBIA CITY — The Columbia City Lady Eagle soccer team honored its eight senior members in grand style Thursday night, sending them off with a 3-1 senior night win over Fort Wayne South Side that fittingly was capped off by a goal from one of the “Elite Eight.”
For the Lady Eagles, senior night also brought the promise of things to come as the first Eagle score came from sophomore midfielder Haley Boner. With 12:26 left in the first half Boner worked past two South Side defenders and beat the Lady Archer keeper from about 10 yards out on the left side to give Columbia City a 1-0 lead.
Less than four minutes later the Lady Eagles appeared to have added another goal when three Lady Eagles broke in on the South Side keeper.After a conference between the officials, the Lady Eagles were called for offsides and the goal was disallowed.
The visitors took advantage, getting their only goal of the contest with 1:34 left in the half, with Ariana Simmons getting the ball past Columbia City keeper Corinna Raypole on a tough shot from about 20 yards out on the right side of the Eagle goal.
The Archers’ goal knotted the score at 1-1 at the half.
The Lady Eagles honored seniors Corinna Raypole, Jessica Bickle, Michaela McIntosh, Cassie McFarren, Kayla Dunn, Carrie Pequignot, Erica Spade and Jessica Nierman at halftime of the contest. It was after that halftime that the Lady Eagles truly took control.
The Eagle defense was dominating in the second half, limiting the Lady Archers to only a handful of shots, while the Lady Eagle offense kept the ball in the South Side end of the field for most of the second half.
The Columbia City offensive persistence paid off with 21:10 on the clock when speedy junior Sarah Opliger dribbled through the Archer defense and took the shot from about 12 yards out beating the keeper to the right side of the goal to put the Eagles up 2-1.
One of the Columbia City seniors gave the Lady Eagles an insurance goal at the 9:34 mark when the Eagle defense popped the ball over the top of the Lady Archers’ defense.
Senior Cassie McFarren ran down the ball and dribbled at an angle away from the right hand side of the South Side goal before turning on the ball and knocking it into the right corner of the goal to put the Eagles up 3-1.
McFarren got an almost identical scoring opportunity 30 seconds later with this shot hitting off the crossbar and bouncing off.
The Lady Eagles continued to press but were unable to add to the score and the contest ended with Columbia City taking the 3-1 win.
“It was not only their speed but their aggressiveness,” Columbia City coach Nicole Gebfert said. “We learned from that in the first half and we adjusted very well in the second half.”
The win gives the Lady Eagles a record of 8-6 heading into Tuesday night’s opening round of the Homestead sectional, where the Lady Eagles will take on the North Side Lady Redskins.