Troy falls to Central Columbia.

By: Brett R. Crossley | Towanda Daily Review | October 31, 2017

 

WILLIAMSPORT — Central Columbia looked primed and ready for its District 4, Class AA opening round game against No. 2 Troy.

The Blue Jays peppered Troy's keeper throughout the opening 40 minutes, scoring twice and giving up just one shot on defense. It all added up to a dominant performance to open the postseason, edging Troy 7-0 at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex.

"We feel good," Central Columbia Shawn Callender said. "We feel good about where we're at. We played a really good second half today."

Central Columbia jumped out to a two-goal lead as the first half came to a close. Once in the second half, the Blue Jays' offensive prowess was on full display. Lauren Bull, who led the offense throughout the game, scored twice, Grace Klingerman scored twice, and Ellie John scored once.

"When we got the ball out and found our attacking mid, I was wide open half the time," Bull said. "I got a good look, but couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. It was frustrating. It's one of those things that you just keep going and once you get one they keep coming."

Central Columbia's initial goal came about when Ellie Rowe made a nice run deep into the Troy zone. She continued to push up from midfield, splitting two defenders and connecting with a hard shot to the Troy keeper. The ball was hit by the keeper, but the strength of the shot carried the ball past the keeper an into the goal.

"Our girls played hard," Troy's coach Wayne Pratt said. "We got here. That's what counts most of all. Central Columbia came here with a game plan and executed the plan. We didn't."

The Blue Jays continued to press throughout the first half. Bull posted three shots directly on goal, but finished with six overall. She made a living of crossing over a defender and sending hard shots from outside the 18 into the goal. She finally broke through during the opening minutes of the second half when Gracia Eckenrode sent a ball into the box for an easy tap in and 3-0 Central Columbia lead.

"I'd say it's in good shape," Callender said of the Central Columbia program. "The sophomore class is a good class, and Lauren puts a lot of work into this game. She's our motor. She leads at game and practice. She's the real deal."

Eckenrode then assisted on a goal moments later when Grace Klingerman found herself unmarked in the box for a quick shot. Klingerman was unmarked a lot in the box throughout the second half and finally cashed in with the feed from Eckenrode.

The outside pressure finally broke Troy for a second goal when Katlyn Kocher hit a high shot over the keeper's head from just over midfield. The shot appeared to have a chance, but one Troy's keeper stepped out the ball sailed over her head for a goal.