WATERLOO — Waterloo Columbus continues to prove it can play with the best girls’ soccer teams in the state.
Beating them has been another matter lately.
Friday night, Class 2A’s 14th-ranked Dubuque Wahlert (11-5) sent the No. 13 (1A) Sailors (8-7) to their fifth loss in their last six games, 1-0. Columbus has just two goals in those five defeats.
“Here’s the thing,” Sailors coach Julie Girsch said. “In the last 20 minutes of the game tonight, we were possessing the ball and getting opportunities. That is great, but we need that energy and play for 80 minutes. If we can come out and play that way for 80 minutes then the goals will come.
“We were there and knocking on the door, we just couldn’t get the ball in the net. We need someone to just own it and get things started again.”
The Golden Eagles got things started early as they crashed the Columbus net and Gabby Moran found enough room to squeeze the ball past Sailors keeper Sydney Schultz.
“Honestly, it is a little frustrating to not get goals in a game,” said Schultz. “We are capable of scoring, we just have not gotten a lot of breaks and we have had some people out. I just need to do my job. I have a lot of confidence in this team that we can turn it around in a hurry.”
Schultz fought off eight shots on goal, including one from short range off Libby Perry’s foot that had a chance to reach nylon.
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“I kind of like it when I am active back in the net,” added Schultz. “But I like seeing it at the other end, too. Once our offense gets back on track we will be okay.”
One of Columbus’ top scoring threats, Emily Surma, suffered a cut above her nose during a mid-air collision early in the game and was forced to the sideline temporarily.
“I am going to have a sore nose tomorrow, and I am sure it will be different colors,” Surma said. “We need to step up and take the opportunities given to us. Tonight we came out flat and they (Wahlert) beat us to the 50-50 balls.
“We have to want it more than the other team and I think once we get the ball in the back of the net we will get things going after that.”
The Sailors put on a furious rally over the final 20 minutes and in the 68th minute had a golden opportunity to score.
Adrianna Gallen chased down a pass in the right corner that Golden Eagles keeper Ivy Dearstone came out to collect. Gallen beat her to the ball and sent a centering pass in front of the unattended net, but it sailed just out of reach for Bella Fain.
“We really need to take advantage of those types of opportunities,” Girsch said. “We got down 1-0 early, but there was plenty of time to score and we just couldn’t get the goal.”