Columbus Catholic boys soccer team looks to build off last year’s success
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Columbus Catholic did not lose a Mid-State Soccer Conference game last season but came up just short of a second-straight championship.
The Dons finished 9-0-3 and in second place behind MSSC champ McDonell/Regis, which was 10-0-2, as the two teams tied in both of their matchups in 2015.
This season Columbus Catholic returns seven letter winners, welcomes back another from two years ago, and has a number of younger players that should put the Dons right in the mix to compete for the top spot in the conference again.
Seniors Charles Payant, Tyler Fuerlinger, and Tim Gruenloh; juniors Calvin Brown and Nick Malovrh; and sophomore Nadim Torbey bring a solid core of experience and production back to the field for the Dons.
Fuerlinger (nine goals, four assists) and Brown (six goals, nine assists) were first-team all-conference performers a year ago, and Malovrh (14 goals, five assists), Payant (10 goals, 15 assists), and Gruenloh earned second-team accolades.
Senior goalkeeper Bailey Keffer gave up just 11 goals last year and was an honorable mention all-conference pick.
Senior Ryan Dieringer, who sat out last season while battling cancer, is back healthy and will be a starting forward for the Dons in 2016.
“We expect to have a strong team this season,” fourth-year Columbus Catholic coach Jeff Edwards said. “Losing only three seniors and gaining an influx of talent in the freshmen, we should be competing for the conference championship as well as a fourth-straight regional championship.”
The Dons finished 15-2-3 last season, losing to La Crosse Aquinas in the Division 4 sectional semifinals.
This year’s team, with many of the same starters returning, will look to build off of last year’s success while using the same approach as last fall.
“I feel the strength of our team is the veteran leadership and consistent team focus,” Edwards said. “There are no one or two players that our team is built around. They build around each other with everyone contributing.”
Sophomores Kellen Heinzen and Evan Dieringer and freshmen Annika Brown, Alex Giles, and Tom Nystrom will fill out the roster and provide talented depth for Columbus.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.