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You might say that there is some unfinished business for the 2017 Columbus North boys soccer team.
A year after advancing to the Jeffersonville Semistate, where the team lost in a penalty-kick shootout to eventual Class 2A state champion Evansville Memorial, the Bull Dogs are motivated to post another strong season.
An IHSAA change to three classes – with Columbus North assigned to the new Class 3A – will impact the postseason path. Coach Andy Glover, whose squad went 15-6-1 in 2016, feels the change could help the Bull Dogs.
Six regulars, including junior forward Alex McGill, return to the lineup. He is supported by senior midfielder Jack Robertson and a quartet of back-line players in junior Zach Friend, senior Andrew Potter and seniors Finn and Jannis Anderson.
McGill totaled a team-high 45 points on 20 goals and five assists in 2016. Finn Anderson added 10 points on three goals and four assists. Robertson contributed one goal and two assists, while Jannis Anderson notched one goal.
Friend, Potter and the Andersons all were part of a defense that yielded just 24 goals all season, although all four players could move into forward or midfield positions this season, depending on what alignment Glover decides is best.
Sophomores Graham Keele, Andrew Goble and Sotaro Kaneda appear poised for significant roles, while senior Axel Arroyo and junior Noah Kestler are others with varsity experience. Goble scored one goal last season, while Arroyo had one assist. Kestler tallied a 1.70 goals-against average in 47 minutes as a backup goalkeeper. Kestler and freshman Colvin Iorio are vying for the keeper position.
“We’re very pleased with the team’s efforts,” Glover told The Republic. “I feel as though the team is in a good place at the moment.”
The Bull Dogs open their season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Conference Indiana-rival Bloomington North at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex. CN hosts Cathedral on Aug. 22, then follows by facing Columbus East on Aug. 26. The team travels to Center Grove on Aug. 29 and to Franklin Central on Aug. 3. Terre Haute South visits on Sept. 2, and CN goes to Bloomington South on Sept. 5. The Bull Dogs compete in the Great Midwest Classic at North Central on Sept. 8-9.
Seymour hosts the sectional this season on Oct. 2-7.