The Wisconsin Dells and Columbus boys soccer teams played right to the final horn last season, settling for a 3-3 draw.
The Chiefs and Cardinals looked destined for another tie on Tuesday but a late Wisconsin Dells own goal handed Columbus a 2-1 win in a Capitol Conference game at Woodside Sports Complex. Junior Will Van Dinter scored the lone goal for Wisconsin Dells, while senior goalkeeper Ben Fish made four saves in the loss.
While Wisconsin Dells (0-2-0 Capitol Conference, 2-2-0) controlled possession for most of the game and led 1-0 at halftime, Columbus tied the game at 1 with just over an hour played. The Cardinals continued to mount pressure and ultimately took the lead with just under four minutes left to play.
After getting the ball deep in Chiefs territory, the Cardinals (1-1-0, 2-3-1) earned a throw-in that senior Sal Genco heaved into the 18-yard box. The throw proceeded to find freshman Anthony Genco and the forward was able to get a shot on goal.
The half-volley strike deflected off a Dells player and narrowly escaped an outstretched Fish for an own goal and a 2-1 lead with 86 minutes, 7 seconds played. With mere minutes remaining, the Chiefs made one final push but failed to find an equalizer before the final horn sounded.
Wisconsin Dells came out with its foot on the gas and wasted little time getting on the board through Van Dinter with 11 minutes played. Just minutes after having a shot inside the 18-yard box hammer off the upper right corner, Van Dinter again found himself open in the box.
Sophomore Alejandro Salazar drove down the far left sideline before cutting between two Cardinals defenders inside the 18-yard box. Salazar then found Van Dinter with a drop pass and the team’s leading scorer from last season fired under Columbus goal keeper Quinn Meinholz for the 1-0 lead.
Wisconsin Dells continued to press the rest of the first half and came close a number of times, including a Salazar shot that hit the post, but failed to add to its lead, settling for a 1-0 halftime advantage. Out of the break the Chiefs continued to keep the foot on the gas but it was the Cardinals that found the back of the net.
Columbus drove down the right sideline and worked the ball in deep to Sal Genco, who proceeded to drive a low cross into the 18-yard box. Wisconsin Dells defender Jacob Rogers cut off the cross but the deflected ball hit the freshman’s arm for a hand ball, resulting in a penalty kick for the Cardinals.
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Sal Genco stepped up to the spot and while Fish was able to get a hand to the kick, failed to keep it out as Columbus tied the game at 1 with 63 minutes played.
Wisconsin Dells had a quick response as junior Nick Sabey fired a long-range shot just minutes late but the forward’s strike clanged off the crossbar. The Chiefs again threatened late as senior Cade Ravnescroft was able to get onto the end of an in-swinging cross from a Sabey free kick in the 85th minute, but didn’t get enough force on it and it glanced wide.
COLUMBUS 2, WISCONSIN DELLS 1
First half: WD — Van Dinter (Perez), 11:00.
Second half: Col — S. Genco, 63:00; Own goal, 86:00.
Saves: C (Meinholz) 10; WD (Fish) 4.