By Maurice Patton
SPRING HILL – Brewer Wall said a physical contest is to be expected when his Columbia Central boys soccer team meets Spring Hill.
Thursday was no exception.
In a matchup where seemingly everyone was on the ground at one point or another, Wall’s second goal of the game snapped a halftime deadlock and pushed the visiting Lions to a 3-1 victory.
“It was a rough game, a physical game,” Wall said after his team moved to 6-0. “It’s always more physical against Spring Hill.”
Central may have needed that physicality in order to get focused. Following a nine-day layoff and contemplating Spring Break – Thursday was the last day of class for Maury County Public Schools until April 12 – the Lions weren’t especially sharp through the first half.
Spring Hill (5-2) took advantage, striking first as freshman Tyson Peters punched a loose ball past Central goalkeeper Dane Holley as he strayed too far from the goal mouth at the 17:31 mark.
“I think we went to Spring Break early,” Lions coach Greg Szydlowski said. “It wasn’t that we were looking past Spring Hill. We hadn’t played in nine days. We had to get our feel back.”
Wall scored eight minutes later from the left wing for the equalizer, and the 1-1 score stood through intermission.
Wall’s second goal, off goalie Carter Coleman’s foot with 30:46 to play, put the visitors ahead for good, and Victor Ramirez added an insurance goal 10 minutes later. Coleman stopped a Wall shot just moments later, and Central misfired twice from point-blank range near the nine-minute mark as the Lions turned up the heat on both ends.
“We’ve got four freshman starters,” Raiders coach Sadiq Al Amery said. “In the second half, we lost position. The second goal was a mistake, and they put their heads down.
“It’s tough to come back against a team like Columbia. I’m proud of our players. They just have too much talent. But we learned something. Always when you play good teams, you learn something.”
Central’s second-half surge was somewhat of an expectation for Szydlowski, as the Lions have outscored six opponents by a 20-2 margin.
“Brewer and Vic are our two best players. They play at a high level outside of us, with Tennessee Soccer Club,” he said. “With Kameron (Smith), Brewer, Mason (Hollandsworth) and Vic up front, we just wear teams out. It’s tough to manage them for a full game, with their ability on the ball, their vision, speed and quickness.
“It just wears teams out.”
Courtesy photos by Buffy Holt