Bruins fall to Falcons, fail to reach final four

Bruins+fall+to+Falcons%2C+fail+to+reach+final+four

Pen Terry

[heading]Glendale 1, Rock Bridge 0; last minute goal sends Falcons to state semis[/heading]
RBHS Captain senior Cooper Smith battles for possession with the Glendale midfielder. The Bruins dropped to the game 1-0 on Saturday. Photo by Erin Kleekamp
RBHS Captain senior Cooper Smith battles for possession with the Glendale midfielder. The Bruins dropped to the game 1-0 on Saturday.
Photo by Erin Kleekamp

Following three years of strong showings in the state Final Four and coming away with three consecutive third places finishes, the RBHS boys’ soccer team looked to return to the sports final weekend with a win over Glendale High School on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The Bruins (18-5-1), however, fell short of fulfilling their goal, dropping a heartbreaking loss to Glendale (18-7-1) in the state quarterfinals at Wayne Sells Family Activity Field. RBHS fell to the Falcons, 1-0.

The Bruins had an abundance of opportunities on offense all through the first half but were unable to come anyway with any points. A ball off the head of senior Jacob Kovarik during opening minutes nearly put the Bruins up early, but rolled past the left post.

“We put it on them and really beat their intensity,” senior midfielder Salim Gumati said of his teams play in the first half. “But the ball just didn’t bounce our way.”

It was more of the same as the teams resumed after halftime, with the Bruins controlling the ball very well and keeping pressure on the Falcons defense and keeper.

Although the ball remained deep on the Falcons side of the field, the RBHS defense, lead by senior Reggie Tyler, was able to keep the Glendale offense from seriously threatening for much of the game.

The only goal of the game came on a free kick with 5:16 left by Glendale that sailed just over the heads of the Bruin defensive wall and found its way past keeper Greg Kelly and into the net.

[We had] a couple slip ups but we limited their opportunities,” Gumati said. “We kept on giving them chances on set pieces and one of them went in, just how it goes sometimes.”

Despite being down late the Bruins battled back and again had several chances to knot the game at one apiece in the closing minutes. Unfortunately the Bruins were again unable to capitalize with the final shot of the game coming off the foot of sophomore Tarnue Tyler and rolling just past the left post.

“”I think we had a lot of dangerous opportunities, a lot more than they did,” Gumati said. “Even in the last four minutes when we were down 1-0 we got about three chances that very well could have been goals. But that’s how soccer goes, you don’t always come out on top even if you win in the stat column.”

RBHS head coach Alex Nichols echoed this sentiment after the game

“It’s the game of soccer. Sometimes it’s just unlucky,” Nichols said. “I think [they’re] the best players that you could ask for. I think I got, most importantly, the best team you could ask for. The ball just didn’t fall our way. I can’t explain it.”
By Pen Terry