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SOCCER PREVIEW: COLUMBUS CATHOLIC RETURNS SIX ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS, EYES ANOTHER CWC TITLE


Columbus Catholic senior Zach Olson, who had eight goals and 15 assists last season, is one of six Dons returning this year who earned all-Central Wisconsin Conference honors in 2018. (Photo by Paul Lecker/For Zaleski Sports))

By Paul Lecker For Zaleski Sports


MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield Columbus Catholic soccer team has won six-straight WIAA regional titles and three consecutive conference championships, including the past two in the Central Wisconsin Conference.


The 2019 edition of the Dons have no idea of slowing down.


Columbus Catholic, which finished 15-4-2 overall after losing in a shootout to Arcadia in the Division 4 sectional semifinals last fall, lost CWC Player of the Year and the program’s all-time leading scorer in Nadim Torbey, and first-team all-conference goalkeeper Kellen Heinzen, but return four other first-team performers for 2019.


Seniors Zach Olson, Tom Nystrom and Annika Brown, and junior Kellen Delaney all earned first-team all-CWC honors a year ago. The Dons also bring back second-team midfielder Dylan Porter and honorable mention midfielder Addison Baierl to the mix as they plan to contend again for the conference crown.


Delaney is the team’s top returning scorer after finishing with 11 goals and eight assists last season. Porter had nine goals and nine assists, and Olson had eight goals and 15 assists in 2018 for the high-scoring Dons.


In addition to the six returning all-conference players, sophomore defender John Garneau is also back, and will be joined by Wyatt Drexler, likely the new goalkeeper, and defender Jadon Nienast.


“This season we had a senior-led defense that should help solidify the back and allow us to take some chances offensively,” seventh-year Columbus Catholic head coach Jeff Edwards said. “The team is capable of challenging for the top of the conference and making a deep run in the playoffs.


“With the large number of upperclassmen helping mentor the freshmen, I would expect by the end of the season we will be a tough team to beat.”


Columbus Catholic opens its season at the Central Wisconsin Christian Tournament in Waupun on Friday and Saturday and will play its home and conference opener on Tuesday against Amherst/Iola-Scandinavia/Rosholt at Griese Park.


Columbus Catholic Soccer Schedule Fri., Aug. 30 Neenah St. Mary Central at Central Wisconsin Christian Tournament (Waupun), 4:30 p.m. Sat., Aug. 31 vs. TBA at Central Wisconsin Christian Tournament (Waupun), 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Tue., Sept. 3 AMHERST, 5 p.m. Thur., Sept. 5 at Northland Lutheran, 5 p.m. Mon., Sept. 9 GRESHAM/BOWLER, 5 p.m. Thur., Sept. 12 at Wisconsin Valley Lutheran, 5 p.m. Sat., Sept. 14 ARCADIA, 10 a.m. Sat., Sept. 14 LA CROSSE AQUINAS, 12:30 p.m. Mon., Sept. 16 at Stevens Point Pacelli, 7 p.m. Thur., Sept. 19 WAUSAU NEWMAN CATHOLIC, 5 p.m. Mon., Sept. 23 TRI-COUNTY, 5 p.m. Thur., Sept. 26 at Amherst, 5 p.m. Mon., Sept. 30 NORTHLAND LUTHERAN, 5 p.m. Thur., Oct. 3 at Gresham/Bowler, 5 p.m. Mon., Oct. 7 WISCONSIN VALLEY LUTHERAN, 5 p.m. Thur., Oct. 10 STEVENS POINT PACELLI, 5 p.m. Mon., Oct. 14 at Wausau Newman Catholic, 5 p.m. Thur., Oct. 17 at Tri-County, 4:30 p.m. Tue., Oct. 22 WIAA Div. 4 regional quarterfinal, TBA Home games in CAPS, at Griese Park

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