Big second half carries Columbia past Freeburg for regional crown

For the News-DemocratOctober 19, 2013 

— With a combined 52 goals, Andrew Dossett and Matthew Roderick have provided a deadly one-two punch all season for the Columbia boys' soccer team.

But their performance Friday night helped keep the Eagles' season alive.

Dossett, off an assist from Roderick, scored his 20th goal, and Roderick later added his 31st and 32nd goals as Columbia beat Freeburg 3-0 in the championship game of the Class 1A Freeburg Regional. The Eagles (21-2) advance to play the winner of the Gibault Regional, Gibault or Anna-Jonesboro, at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals of the Columbia Sectional.

"Dossett is a great player and he's getting the notoriety that he deserves," Columbia coach Jason Mathenia said. "Roderick finds the back of the net and that's why he's leading the entire St. Louis area in goals."

Freeburg, which lost 4-1 to Columbia during the regular season, finished at 14-8.

"In the second half, they came out really hard and they got the ball behind us on the right side and they finished," Midgets coach Natalie Rushing said. "The first half was a struggle because we knew coming in that Columbia was a really good team. We came out and we were working together and talking. They did everything we asked them to do, so I'm proud of how we played."

After a scoreless first half, Dossett and Roderick put Columbia ahead with 36:46 remaining in the second half. Roderick made some nifty moves to get around a pair of Freeburg players, and with another defender in front of him, passed to Dossett, who beat Midgets goalie Mitch Buerck from 20 yards out.

"The ball came in from Quentin Spivey and we got it up to Matthew, who did a great touch and turn," Dossett said. "He put it in right on a dime for me. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

"We have a good feel for the game and it's all from growing up and playing in the same kind of system. We're used to where the ball is supposed to go."

With 12:39 to play, Columbia added an insurance goal. Roderick, from 15 yards out, blasted a shot that bounced off Buerck's hands and landed just inside the right post.

Columbia's final goal came with 2:16 remaining, as Roderick on the rebound of a free kick by Spivey.

"Our seniors realized we had 40 minutes to either end our season or keep it going," Dossett said. "We pulled through and showed we really wanted it tonight."

In the first half, Freeburg was able to contain the Eagles' high-powered offense. Columbia had few scoring chances after Buerck made early saves on Roderick and Dosssett.

"We were going into the wind in the first half and I felt once we got into the second half, I had confidence in our ability to score," Mathenia said. "Freeburg defended well in the first half and we had some chances, but not the quality of opportunities that we had later."

Freeburg, meanwhile, wasn't able to put much pressure on Columbia keeper Eddie Starr. One of the Midgets' best opportunities came with 15 minutes to play in the second half, but they were unable to get a shot on goal after a scramble in front of the net.

"We knew that if we played more defensively, it was going to take a little away from our offense," Rushing said. "We felt we had to do that in order to be successful. We held them the first half, but they got some goals in the second."

The shutout was the 14th of the season for Columbia.

"Our defenders have done a quality job all year," Mathenia said. "Obviously we've got Eddie Starr in the goal and a great back four in front of him, with Brett Meyer coming off the bench and getting some good minutes. Giving up only 12 goals all season, that's pretty remarkable on our end."

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