By JEREMY KOVARIK and JOHN SPYTEK
For the Republic-Times
Columbia lost an overtime heartbreaker in the championship game of the CYC/Bob Guelker Tournament Saturday to Seckman High School of Arnold, Mo.
Matthew Roderick scored in the rain off a throw-in with just seven minutes remaining in the game at St. Louis Soccer Park, putting the Eagles ahead, 1-0. But Seckman would answer just three minutes later, sending the game to overtime.
Each team had scoring chances in OT, but Seckman would complete their stunning comeback, following up a diving save by Eagles goaltender Eddie Starr with a kick from about 20 yards outside the box that Starr got his hands on but just couldn’t control.
“Under normal circumstances Eddie would not have had a problem with that,” head coach Jason Mathenia said. “I think the wet conditions definitely played into their favor.
“Seckman is a quality program, without a doubt. It was a good game for the 87 minutes that we had, it was a battle,” Mathenia said.
The Eagles reached the Sullivan Division title game by notching four straight wins; a 4-0 shutout over St. Pius, a 6-0 drubbing of Bishop DuBourg, a 3-0 win against Fox, and a 3-2 thriller over Triad.
Saturday’s loss was the first of the year for Columbia, who is now 13-1.
“I personally feel (the loss) is going to relieve a lot of pressure,” Mathenia said. “We were one of only two teams left undefeated in the entire area. And now we’ve got that monkey off our back and we’re going to be able to move forward in a positive direction, without a doubt.”
Roderick was one of the stars of the tournament, scoring six goals. His 25 goals on the season lead the entire St. Louis area.
With several big games this week, Columbia will need to rebound quickly.
The Eagles, who played Freeburg on Tuesday, will face off against Alton Marquette on Thursday. And over the weekend, they will host the Gateway Classic, a showcase tournament featuring some of the best teams from around the region, including schools from as far as Chicago.