Bruins cruise past Battle in first ever meeting


Graham Ratermann

Lighting flashed above the sky at Sells field, and for the RBHS boys soccer team lightning struck six times as the Bruins put up six goals handily beating Battle in the teams first ever meeting.

The first lightning strike for the Bruins occurred in the 15th minute as senior midfielder Mitch Stefan sent a cross into the danger area and after hitting a Battle player the ball skittered into the goal.

In the 26th minute, senior midfielder Austin Davis  corralled the loose rebound of junior midfielder Zaiyan Chowdhurry’s shot and promptly delivered the ball into the back of the net to put the Bruins ahead 2-0.

After Davis’s goal it appeared the rout might be on, but less than a minute later Battle capitalized on a RBHS turnover deep in Bruin territory to cut the lead to 2-1.

“That’s just unlucky, that’s another mental thing,” senior forward Joey Koetting said of the Battle goal. “Our defense wasn’t positioned correctly, we weren’t shifting the right way so that’s just another mental thing.”

With the Battle goal, it looked as if the Spartans were gaining momentum, until junior forward Tarnue Tyler  answered with a goal of his own in the 27th minute.

From there it would be all Bruins the rest of the way, as sophomore goalie Wilson Fitzgerald made a number of saves on quality shots and the Bruin’s  defense toughened making few errors and controlling possession of the ball while the offense would go on to score three straight unanswered goals to end the night.

Two minutes into the second half, senior midfielder Cooper Kaufman added a goal to blow the game wide open and give the Bruins a 4-1 lead.

In the 57th minute, junior midfielder Brett Bales fired a hard shot into the upper right hand corner of the net that easily sailed past the goalkeepers outstretched arms.

Tyler added his second goal of the game on a long break away run assisted by Kaufman to put the final nail in the coffin in the 70th minute as the Bruins cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Spartans.

“In the first half we didn’t come out as hard as we could have. We’ve been playing nationally ranked opponents so playing Battle is a little bit different than that,” Koetting said. “We came out unorganized, people weren’t in the right spots, the intensity was low. After halftime we came out with high intensity, better possession, got some goals and played well.”

This was the first meeting between RBHS and Battle in boy’s soccer and despite the blowout Battle remained dangerous the whole game.

“I’m friends with a couple of the kids on the team and I knew they were a force to be reckoned with because they had a couple fast speedy kids up top with good shots,” senior forward Julian John said. “But our defense did well [with] man marking and keeping them to just one goal that was kind of unfortunate.”

The Bruins are next in action this weekend in the Peoria Shootout in Illinois.

“We need to come out tough every game, no matter what the opponent is,” Koetting said. “This weekend we play another top 25 opponent and hopefully that high level of competition will bring out the mental intensity that we need.”

By Graham Ratermann