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Columbia United takes home boys title in 26th invitational


Tyler Meade assisted on Nathan Ong's decisive tally in the sixth minute of sudden death as Columbia United Premier defeated Western (Massachusetts) United, 2-1, for the under-13 boys title in the 26th annual Columbia Invitational Soccer Tournament yesterday at Fort Meade.

United was the only area team to take home a crown in the event, which had 270 clubs competing in nine age groups for both boys and girls. Three other area teams lost in championship games.

United forced the action in overtime, eventually gaining a right-side corner kick. Meade lifted his kick over the goalkeeper's head to the far post, where Ong nodded it home from two yards. "You just need to make the run that you need to and get up for the header," Ong said. "All I saw was the ball go over the goalie and I was right there and it hit my head. If it hit me in the face, it would have gone in. I was basically in the goal."

Coach Bill Stara probably would have preferred if the corner had been placed a little farther from the goal, but had no complaints with the result. "Once I saw it go over the goalie's head, I knew someone would be there to put it in," Meade said. "That's what the coach tells us every day: aim for the 6 [yard line]. I made the 2."

Area results: Under-13 boys: Columbia United Premier 2, Western United 1 (OT). Under-12 boys: Bethesda United 3, Columbia United 0. Under-10 boys: East Meadow (N.Y.) 2, Columbia United 1. Under-11 girls: GAK (New) Jersey Girls 3, Columbia United 1.

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