Soccer senior night ends with penalty kicks

Senior+Jordan+Reiske+poses+with+his+mother+for+a+picture+taken+by+his+father+during+the+RBHS+Boys+Soccer+Senior+Night.+Photo+by+Asa+Lory

Senior Jordan Reiske poses with his mother for a picture taken by his father during the RBHS Boys Soccer Senior Night. Photo by Asa Lory

Daphne Yu

Freshman Brett Bales breaks away from his defenders in the first half of Friday’s game against Blue Springs South. Photo by Asa Lory
In the gusty, sub 50 degree weather that surrounded the RBHS athletic field this afternoon, not even the cold, biting wind and occasional rain could dampen the boys soccer team’s spirit as they walked onto the field. For the group of boys, all sporting light pink jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness month, this evening’s match against Blue Springs South High School was not just any home game; it was was senior night.
After an hour and 40 minutes of normal play, a tied score of 1-1 and two overtimes, the game went to penalty kicks where the Bruins pulled through to win the game. Although any victory feels good, the focus of tonight was not entirely on the final outcome.
“Tonight was about seniors, and we needed to play for them,” said Ryan Stanowski, team captain and senior striker and wing midfielder. “Also enjoy it at the same time.”
As the game neared the end of the second half, the only goal the Bruin boys were able to put into the net was one by senior defender Nick White, which tied the score 1-1. But as seconds ticked down on the clock, the team was struggling not to end the game in disappointment.
“We overall played a good game, just couldn’t put a couple in the back of the net,” Stanowski said. In the last few moments of the second half, Stanowski’s only thoughts were, “we have to win. We have to get a goal.”
Neither Blue Springs South and RBHS could not cough up a goal, and unfortunately, the Bruin boys were not able to finish the game in normal play. They pushed the game on to overtime. In overtime, both teams faced a stalemate yet again and the outcome of the game came down to penalty kicks.
Seniors Tripp Sheehan, Stanowski, Eli Sherman, Tyler Bales and Patrick Bromstedt stepped up (in that order), ready to win the game for the team. For Stanowski, while readying himself to take the shot did not feel special at the moment, it “definitely felt special afterwards.”
Senior Jordan Reiske poses with his mother for a picture taken by his father during the RBHS Boys Soccer Senior Night. Photo by Asa Lory
Sheehan, Stanowski, Sherman and Bales all made their goals and Bromstedt ended up not having to kick – the Bruins had won on the previous four kicks alone and junior goalkeeper Greg Kelly’s saves. Kelly, who was also on the team last year and has been essential in many games and penalty kicks, knew how special tonight was for not only the seniors, but the team as a whole, and stepped up to make a difference.
“I knew I couldn’t let [the seniors] down,” Kelly said, “and by the end of the game and into penalty kicks, I had to give it everything I had to lead us to success.”
Ending senior night with an all-senior palette of kickers for the last few minutes only made the evening and the game even more special. While the team still has a few more games left in the season before districts in the next few weeks, one thing they will remember from tonight’s senior night is the team’s ability – from old and young – to bring everything they have to every move they make.
The most memorable moment was “The penalty kicks with the seniors taking and making them all,” Stanowski said, “and [junior goal keeper] Greg [Kelly] stepping up and winning the game.”
By Daphne Yu
This year’s seniors:
Tyler Bales
Andy Barnes
Patrick Bromstedt
Brian Bunter
Thomas McCarney
Jordan Reiske
Tripp Sheehan
Eli Sherman
Ryan Stanowski
Kyle Tonnies
Nick White