The Columbus girls lacrosse team’s 6-6 tie against Northgate won’t go down in the win column, but it had several players calling it a moral victory on Tuesday.
The Blue Devils (0-5-1, 0-2-1 Area 1 Class A-AAAA) trailed 3-2 at halftime and rallied to lead twice in the second half at 5-4 and 6-5 before a late Northgate (3-1-1, 1-1-1) goal led to the stalemate in Columbus’ home opener on senior night at Bobby Ray Johnson Stadium at Britt David Park.
It was particularly satisfying considering Northgate’s 8-4 victory in the teams’ earlier meeting, said Columbus’ Asha Owens, who scored two second-half goals.
“We played them once before this season and lost 8-4,” Owens said. “This was our chance to put everything we do at practice to work and show we’re not the underdog everyone thinks we are and that we are a team to look out for.”
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Columbus took an early lead on a goal by senior Kelsey Evans and answered back-to-back Northgate goals with one from junior Rachel Riddick, and the Blue Devils went to halftime trailing 3-2.
Christina Chavez then scored a pair of goals for the Blue Devils that tied the game at 3 and 4, and Columbus took the lead twice on Owens’ goals, the second of which put Columbus ahead 6-5 with 3:36 to play in the second half.
“We knew that this was a special night for our seniors, and we wanted to leave it all out there,” Chavez said. “If we did all we could do, we knew we could handle this team, and we did.”
Columbus goalkeeper Carter Moore made several point-blank saves in the second half and finished with 11 saves in all, but Northgate’s Jordan Clark notched her fourth goal to again tie the game 35 seconds after Owens’ go-ahead score.
After trailing at halftime, rallying back and holding on for a tie was a matter of having faith in teammates to make big plays, Columbus senior Abby Lowe said.
“We’re a team that stresses having faith in each other,” Lowe said. “A lot of the times, when you throw the ball when you’re running, maybe it’s a hard throw or maybe it’s not the best throw, but we have to keep having faith that the other girl will catch it.”
Columbus coach Joe McDaniel said he was impressed with Moore’s play and the way the Blue Devils shut down Northgate’s Kayla Bedwell, who scored four goals against Columbus in their previous meeting.
“I thought our goalie played absolutely great,” Columbus coach Joe McDaniel said. “She made a lot of big saves for us and stopped some really great shots, and as a team we played great defense.”
Tuesday at Britt Park David
Goals-- Northgate: Jordan Clark (4), Chandler Motzel, Sophia Durand; Columbus: Asha Owens (2), Christina Chavez (2), Rachel Riddick, Kelsey Evans. Goalies-- Northgate: Katie Hester; Columbus: Carter Moore. Records-- Northgate 3-1-1, 1-1-1 Area 1 Class A-AAAA; Columbus 0-5-1, 0-2-1. Next: Northgate at McIntosh, Monday; Columbus at East Cowetta, 4:30 p.m. Friday.