June 29, 2016

Partly sunny

High school soccer: Laszlo Szabados’ header lifts Columbia to semifinal win

COLUMBIA STATION — Kicking is the name of the game in soccer, but sometimes it’s using your head that counts.

Columbia scored the match’s only goal on a header shot by Laszlo Szabados just two minutes into the second half as the Raiders edged visiting Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 1-0 Monday night in a Division III sectional tournament semifinal.

Columbia (6-9-2) advanced to the sectional title game at 1 p.m. Saturday at either Bedford Chanel or Elyria Open Door.

Szabados, only a sophomore on the young Raider squad (five freshmen in the starting lineup), got his third goal of the season on a header from 20 yards out after a pass from Matt Zelinsky.

“Matt was running down the right sidelines when he passed to me,” Szabados said. “My header shot went right through their goalie’s hands.”

Columbia totally dominated the match, getting a whopping 27 shots, 13 on goal, while St. Joseph had only two shots, neither on goal. The Raiders had several close opportunities but couldn’t convert. The closest was when Brandon Shields had a clear opening in front of the net but lost his footing and fell into the net with 4:50 left in the match.

“We were happy with the way we kept it close,” said St. Joseph coach Luis Negrete.

Columbia coach Hank Protor had his own philosophy.

“1-0 is just as good as 4-0 if it makes you a winner,” he said. “I’ll take that score anytime. We talked at halftime that our cross-field passing must improve if we’re ever going to score. They (the Vikings) have a great goalie who made some good stops (11) but we had some good chances, especially at the end, that just didn’t go in.”

Columbia 1, Villa Angela-St. Joseph 0

  • GOALS—Columbia: Laszlo Szabados.
  • ASSISTS—Columbia: Matt Zelinsky 1.
  • SHOTS—Columbia 27, Villa Angela-St. Joseph 2.
  • SHOTS ON GOAL—Columbia 13, Villa Angela-St. Joseph 0.
  • FREE KICKS—Columbia 6, Villa Angela-St. Joseph 8.
  • CORNER KICKS—Columbia 6, Villa Angela-St.Joseph 1.
  • SAVES—Columbia: Jeff Elsasser 0, Villa Angela-St. Joseph: Connor Gail 11.
  • Halftime—0-0.

Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.