AMORY – Michael Wathen broke up what was a defensive battle in the first half to score two goals in the second half and secure a 3-1 win over Columbus on Tuesday night.
“We didn’t play very well tonight. We played hard, but didn’t necessarily play smart or well a lot of times,” Amory coach Nathan Clayton said. “We just kind of got through on will. They’re not a bad team, but we made a lot of mistakes.”
Garrett Trautman broke up a scoreless tie in the 19th minute of the game with his goal, but a penalty kick from Columbus in the 22nd minute tied things up. No one would score before the break as Amory had a goal called back for a foul.
“It was a bad foul. We just have be smarter than to do that in the box and to grab somebody. They did a good job finishing with that,” Clayton said of the foul that led to the Columbus penalty kick.
Amory came out firing on defense after the half, and Wathen’s first goal, at the 56th minute, gave them a 2-1 lead. The Panthers also got a break on defense when keeper Ross Trautman came out of the goal for the ball, and Garrett Trautman snagged it just shy of the goal line to prevent a Columbus.
“That was huge, and it was good hustle on his part because a goal there would have put them right back in the game,” Clayton said.
Wathen scored once more in the closing minutes of the game to secure the win. Garrett Trautman assisted on both Wathen’s scores.
Clayton said he was proud of his team’s effort but would have liked to have seen better possession of the ball.
“We had three bad throw ins and lost three possessions there and had a lot of bad touches on the ball. Possession wasn’t really a factor for us in the midfield,” Clayton said. “We just didn’t do a very good job controlling the pace of the game and played to their tempo more than we would have liked to. But we played hard, so it’s something to build off with a lot of tough games coming up.”
(G) Amory 12, Columbus 1 Addie Forbus snagged the ball around midfield two minutes into the game and faced little pressure from the Columbus defense as she headed down field for her first of many goals in the game.
Amory’s offense only heated up from there as Forbus added five more goals before the half, assisted on two others and helped the Lady Panthers to a 10-0 lead at the half. Bailey Oswalt, Kenley Stephens, Rachyl Hill and Gabby Hall all also added scores before the break, and seventh-grader Brook Pace scored twice in the second half as the majority of the Amory starters were able to rest.