Momentum shifts in Comet girls' rivalry loss

Late Columbus goal deflates West Liberty in 3-1 loss


Hoping to ride on the momentum of a late first half score, the West Liberty High School Comet girls’ soccer team had planned to topple rival visitor Columbus Junction Thursday, April 29, at Memorial Field.

Junior Sailor Hall broke away from the field after a loose ball to put across the only goal of the night for the Comets, coming with just 56.7 seconds left in the half after Columbus Junction jumped out to a 2-0 lead in a tight battle.

Unfortunately, the Comets couldn’t take advantage of that momentum, failing to score in fighting a strong wind in the second half before the visitors put the game away with a score at 6:51 remaining in the game to take a commanding 3-1 lead.

Coach Manuel Machado wasn’t happy about the loss, noting his team lacks confidence and let the game get away from them – especially late in the final minutes after Columbus Junction took a two-goal lead. He said the team “gave up” after that goal and needs to find a way to change the team’s attitude to get back in the win columns.

He said West Liberty had beaten Columbus Junction earlier in the season in a scrimmage game and complimented the Wildcats at improving but said it was simpy a “bad game” for his team, noting they’ve become a one-half game squad.

He complimented the score of Sailor Hall in the game and noted both Hall sisters, including Finley, always play well. Although Sailor Hall did get injured in the game and was on the sidelines through part of the second half, the junior will be ready for their next game, expected to take place Tuesday, May 4, against West Branch.

Columbus Junction scored their first goal at 14:52 before taking a 2-0 lead at 3:06 in the first half, scoring from close range off an assist.