Boys Soccer 2nd in State

Boys Soccer 2nd in State

With a 2-0 loss in Saturday’s Class AAA sectional at Cookeville, the boys soccer season came to an end for Columbia Central.

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“We’ve played hard all year. When you get to this point, there are a lot of people around the state that are sitting at home. We weren’t sitting at home,” Central coach Greg Szydlowski said. “When you come into somebody else’s house, that can be a struggle for anybody. It’s not that we were intimidated by any means. I just felt that there were moments in the game that Cookeville was playing better.”

Almost three quarters of the game went by without a goal, but the Cavs managed to find the net twice in the last 25 minutes.

The first goal came in the 55th minute when a pass was tipped over the Lions’ defense and snuck past the goalkeeper. The second goal came just three minutes later off a corner kick from Cookeville. Columbia’s goalkeeper fought for position by the goal post before the ball hit him and barely snuck in.

While Cookeville didn’t necessarily dominate all of the position time, Columbia still struggled to get quality shots on goal.

“Cookeville’s back line was great, and the scouting report kind of stated that,” Szydlowski said. “We just couldn’t get the engines rolling, but that goes in line with the defensive prowess that Cookeville has. I think that’s going to be a big weapon for anybody else to have to face.”

The Lions end their season with a 14-5-2 overall record and a 7-1 district record. While they didn’t reach the state tournament, the finish is still a step further than the previous year when they didn’t make it past the district tournament.

Cookeville (18-5) will face Bearden in Tuesday’s state quarterfinals in Murfreesboro.

“At this point, every team has to give their best effort,” Szydlowski said. “I’m not saying that it wasn’t our best effort, but we met a Cookeville team that was playing with everything from minute 1 to minute 80. But hey, we’ll go back to the drawing board, and hopefully we can meet back at this place next year.”