Klein’s decisive goal propels boys’ soccer to Gateway Classic championship


Junior midfielder Johnny Klein (10) attempts to score a goal in a 2-0 victory against Hickman Sept. 13. Photo by Yousuf El-Jayyousi

Ji-Ho Lee

After a stellar beginning to the season, the soccer team hit a rough patch, highlighted by losses to Edwardsville (IL) and DeSmet. This weekend RBHS looked to return to their winning ways in the Gateway Classic tournament in St. Louis Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
“We knew we were facing good teams the whole tournament,” junior midfielder Johnny Klein said. “Our mindset going into the tournament was to find a way to get the results against that good of competition.”
In the Bruins’ first game against Cherry Creek (CO), senior forward Brandon Rettke excelled, scoring a hat trick in the first half, including one off of an impressive assist from Klein.
“As a team we played well together,” Rettke said. “We had people step up and fill important roles when others got injured.”
Later in the game, another goal from senior defender Cole Abrams ended up pushing the Bruins to a comfortable 4-1 victory.
The following match featured two Missouri powerhouses as the Bruins faced Chaminade. Senior midfielder and team captain Drew Stanowski provided the difference with an impressive finish in the 74th minute. The 1-0 victory propelled the team into the championship game.
“We knew that [the Gateway Classic] was going to be a very tough tournament going in and knew that if we played to the best of our capability, we could win some games,” Stanowski said. “After the win against Chaminade, we had some momentum going into our last game.”
In the final game of the tournament against St. Thomas Aquinas (KS), the Bruins were plagued by injury. Nevertheless, RBHS emerged with a 2-1 lead at the end of the first half after both Rettke and Stanowski found the back of the net.
In the second half, Stanowski, along with seniors Parker Fancher, Carlo Montano, Matt Guess and Carson Raetz were all sidelined with injury. After a goal in the 58th minute by St. Thomas, the scoreboard read 2-2. With 23 seconds remaining in the game, Klein drilled a free kick, thrusting the Bruins to a 3-2 lead. Klein’s crucial play ultimately resulted in the Bruins being crowned as the victors of the tournament.
“Those are the moments you dream of as a soccer player,” Klein said. “To be able to get a win for your team at the end of the game, especially with all the injuries we had, it’s just a cool moment.”
Stanowski was also pleased with his team’s performance throughout the entirety of the tournament.
“I thought we played with a lot of heart during this tournament,” Stanowski said. “We played very well as a team which led us to get the results that we did.”
Moving forward, the Bruins have five more games before the district tournament, including a match against St. Louis University High (SLUH) and games against district opponents in Smith-Cotton and Jefferson City.
“We have a very tough game coming up against SLUH,” Stanowski said. “I think that we can use the momentum from this tournament to get a win against them and really establish ourselves among one the best teams in Missouri.”
What are your thoughts on the team’s season up to this point? Do you think they can carry momentum throughout the entirety of the postseason? Comment below and let us know!