For the first time in seven years, there will be no high school soccer team from Monroe County represented at a state tournament.
Despite a valiant effort in the second half Tuesday night against a powerful Marquette squad at the Class 1A Mater Dei Supersectional, Columbia ended its season one win away from state with a 2-1 loss.
The Eagles got their goal right out the gate, as junior Tate Schilling scored on a deflection following a defensive lapse by the Explorers to make it 1-0 just more than one minute in.
Marquette answered a couple of minutes later, however, scoring on a ball that Columbia failed to clear to tie it at 1-1.
Marquette continued its physical and aggressive play much of the first half, controlling the possession. With eight minutes remaining in the half, Marquette’s Noah McClintock got past the Eagles defense and scored the go-ahead goal.
Columbia came out firing in the second half, getting a great scoring opportunity in the first minute that was denied with a great save by Marquette goalie Joe Guehlstorf.
The Eagles had several other chances and continued its pressure deep into the second half with nothing to show for it.
Desperate to tie the game, Columbia peppered the Marquette goal with shot after shot, including a kick from Keegan O’Bryan that hit the top of the net.
The Eagles were unable to find the back of the net despite the strong finish, ending their season with a record of 16-5-4.
Marquette, which ended its season last year in regional play with a loss to Columbia, advances to the state tournament with a record of 18-3-5.