Columbia boys soccer hangs on to defeat Buchholz

Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 12:11 a.m.

With his team down by one, Buchholz midfielder Devin Nordqvist fired a desperate, potential game-tying shot from 20-yards away in the closing seconds, only to see it swallowed up by Columbia goalkeeper Cameron Harper.

That failed attempt pretty much tells the tale of Columbia's 2-1 win over Buchholz at Citizens Field on Tuesday night.

Buchholz dominated the field with good passing and out-shot Columbia 10-5 on the night, but squandered away open shots — three of which bounced off the goal post.

“We got really unlucky tonight,” Buchholz coach Kyle Konkol said. “We possessed the ball unbelievably well, which created so many opportunities for us. We just didn't put them away. They took care of their opportunities and we didn't.”

Columbia had only two shots on goal in the second half and scored one of them when Geoff Beardsley ran away on a fast break, giving him a one-on-one matchup.

Beardsley said he slid a little when he took the shot, but the ball ended up in the back of the net on the far side, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead 67 minutes into the game.

“We had a one-goal lead, but you always feel like you need another cushion and get another goal just to feel safer,” Beardsley said. “I saw some open field and decided I was going to put my head down and go after it. I beat a couple of guys and then it was me and the goalie.

“I slid in the mud, but fortunately it went in.”

Columbia head coach Trevor Tyler credited his defense, especially the play of Harper, who had nine saves on the night.

“Defense is always on our mind,” Tyler said. “Our keeper made big save after big save.”

Columbia remains undefeated on the season. They had an 11-game winning streak before losing to Ocala Vanguard earlier this week.

One of Buchholz's best players, Nick Salafrio, did not play due to illness.

His brother, Jack, also one of the team's best, made up the workload by taking the majority of Buchholz's shots. Jack Salafrio took eight shots in the second half and scored on one of them, a penalty kick that came in the 72nd minute of the game, giving Buchholz some hope for a comeback. His other shots had fans on the edge of their seats, including one which hit the cross bar.

“If we keep playing that kind of soccer, some of those balls that bounce off the post are going to end up in the back of the net,” Konkol said.

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