Dons host Aquinas in regional final Saturday at 1 p.m.
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Columbus Catholic soccer team was on the ropes Thursday in its WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal against Nekoosa, but it was able to regroup just in the nick of time to save its season.
With the score knotted at 3-3 late, the Dons poured in three goals over a 14½-minute stretch to pull past Nekoosa 6-3 at Griese Park.
Columbus Catholic (17-4-1) will host a Division 4 regional final against La Crosse Aquinas (3-15-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Griese Park.
Calvin Brown scored in the fifth minute for the Dons before Nekoosa got it going.
Bret Mckeel scored at the 11:04 and 13:45 marks to push the Papermakers (5-8-2) ahead before Columbus regrouped.
The Dons controlled the ball in the Nekoosa end for much of the final 30 minutes of the first half and forged ahead on a pair of Nadim Torbey goals at 27:00 and 32:40, giving Columbus a 3-2 lead at halftime.
Mckeel knotted things at 3-3 seven minutes into the second half, and both teams had opportunities to take the lead but were stymied.
Finally, Olson knocked in a shot from the left side of the goal at the 74-minute mark, and Torbey and Kevin Nguyen added scores in a 3½ minute stretch to push the Dons to the victory.
“I was really proud of the team for the fight in the second half,” Columbus Catholic coach Jeff Edwards said. “They really responded well. Nekoosa had a lot of fight and wasn’t giving up. I thought once we tied it, we’d pull ahead, but that didn’t happen.”
Columbus’ top goalie Kellen Heinzen suffered a broken wrist in practice Wednesday and played on the field, forcing freshman Wyatt Drexler in goal. After the rough start, Drexler settled in and had three saves to earn the victory.
“We had some miscommunication, the defense not talking to each other, a freshman goalkeeper who was very nervous,” said Edwards of the slow start. “The defense wasn’t doing (Drexler) any favors by swinging and missing. We gave up three goals that probably wouldn’t have happened if our team was playing the way it is capable of playing.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Dons 6, Papermakers 3
Nekoosa 2 1 – 3
Columbus Catholic 3 3 – 6
First half: 1. CC, Calvin Brown (Nadim Torbey), 4:50; 2. N, Bret Mckeel, 11:04; 3. N, McKeel (Joel Joslin) 13:45; 4. CC, Torbey, 27:00; 5. CC, Torbey (Zach Olson), 32:40.
Second half: 6. N, Mckeel (Kendrick Kolar), 52:00; 7. CC, Olson (Evan Dieringer), 74:00; 8. CC, Torbey (Brown), 85:00; 9. CC, Kevin Nguyen, 88:30.
Total shots: Nekoosa 11; Columbus Catholic 23.
Shots on goal: N 6; CC 13.
Corner kicks: N 2; CC 10.
Saves: N, Alfredo Rodriguez 7. CC, Wyatt Drexler 3.
Records: Nekoosa 5-8-2; Columbus Catholic 17-4-1.