Girls soccer begins season with close win over Helias

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Derek Wang

The RBHS girls soccer team kicked off its season with a thriller against Helias High School. Unlike last year however, the Bruins defeated the Crusaders in the penalty shootout with a score of 2-2 (2-1 pen). Head coach Gary Drewing said that he was proud of the team’s ability to fight through adversity.
“We performed very well for our first game especially considering the inexperience of the team we had on the field at times,” Drewing said. “We competed as a team tonight. We got tired but fought through it. I was really happy with our effort and spirit.”
During the first half, the Bruins took off to an early lead, scoring two goals in less than six minutes. Helias managed to score a goal off a corner kick in the 28th minute but the rest of the half passed by scoreless. At halftime, the score remained 2-1 in favor of RBHS.
“We out worked the other team, and that’s what really pushed us ahead in the first half,” senior Reilly Strong, who plays the midfielder position, said. “Even though it was the first game, I think we all work really well together.”
However, in the second half, RBHS was unable make chances on offense and the defense faltered as the team got tired. Helias would rally and score another goal in the 17th minute of the second half, tying the game at 2-2 and putting a lot of pressure on the Bruins.
For the rest of the game, the Bruins pushed through their tiredness and held on through overtime, barely missing chances to end the game. Junior Ronni Farid, who plays as a defender, said that although the team managed to pull through and win in the penalty shootout, they could work on finishing games during regulation.
“As a team, I think we need to work most on being able to stay at top level throughout the entire game,” Farid said. “All good teams connect extremely well and I think our team does that. I think it mainly came down to our energy.”
Drewing agreed that the Bruins began to lose energy in the second half, but also cited the increase in pressure coming from Helias as a major factor that led the game into a penalty shootout. Drewing said that the pressure caused the team to lose its shape at times, which in turn caused the team’s defensive mistakes to be amplified. Once the team lost its shape and made a mistake, Helias pounced on their opportunity and tied the game. Despite this, Drewing isn’t worried, believing that the team can fix their mistakes.
“We will continue to work on our shape and the simple first game mistakes,” Drewing said. “I’m really happy with the way we approached the game and the effort we put out. If we put that effort and competitive drive to training and all our games, we will be very successful. If we bring that to every game, the gameplay changes will come naturally.”
By Derek Wang
Photo by Caylea Erickson