North Platte scored both of its goals a minute apart on Thursday to beat Columbus 2-0 at Bauer Field, avenging the loss to the Discoverers in the GNAC tournament five days earlier."Organizationally, we tried to be stronger in the midfield," NPHS boys' coach Danny Whitney said, comparing the two matches. "But we were really persistent in making it through the first half and surviving their attack."
Neither team scored in the first half, with North Platte (7-3) playing against a 15 mile-per-hour wind coming from the south. But in the second half, the Bulldogs got something going.
About 10 minutes into the second half, Ryan LeTourneau made a run on the right side of the field before being tackled by Columbus goalie Daniel Melendez in the goal box.
But a minute later, LeTourneau came back from the right, dribbled past Melendez and blasted the ball into the net to give the Dawgs the lead.
Another minute later, Caden Comer got into the box from the same side, shot it past Melendez and into the left side of the net to make it a 2-0 game.
"We made some quick combinations where we were able to slide somebody in on the right side," Whitney said. "Both guys did a great job of cutting to the net and they were sliding into the box."
Facing a 2-0 deficit, Columbus (7-5) tried to make a strong push late, similar to the previous match against NPHS where they scored three goals in the last 12 minutes. But this time, the Bulldogs defense held strong and they kept the Discoverers from getting within striking distance.
"It's natural when a team goes down to take some risks and push harder," Whitney said. "We just had to get our anxiety level down, get organized and eliminate their threats."