|BRUINS' SOCCER RUN ENDED BY HIDDEN VALLEY|
|November 14, 2007 12:00 am|
Amid the rain, fog and mud, the Brookings-Harbor High School boys' soccer team held a 2-0 lead with 10 minutes left to play in regulation, but could not fend off a surging Hidden Valley team as the Mustangs defeated the Bruins 3-2 in overtime Saturday afternoon.
For the Bruins, it was the second consecutive playoff game that wound up in overtime, with a 1-0 overtime win against Marist to get the Bruins to the quarterfinals.
"We just got a little ahead of ourselves," senior co-captain Blake Peters said. "We got our two goals and we thought we had it sealed."
In the first half, the Bruins played excellent defense, stifling an aggressive Mustang attack.
The young but fearless Bruin backfield consisted of junior Alan Freeman, sophomores Jordan Weichers and Jose Munoz and freshman Geoff Gowman.
Junior goalie Gabe Anaya continued to excel as he kept the Mustangs out of the goal with a number of saves, including a diving save in the 21st minute to help shutout the Mustangs in the first half.
The Bruins also had a hard time cracking the quick Mustang defense, who were able to prevent the Bruins from making any big runs at the goal.
But in the 39th minute, senior co-captain Mark Aguirre was able to draw a foul just outside the penalty kick.
Aguirre hit the shot low and hard and sent it through the defense where the ball was slightly redirected by a Mustang defender and past sophomore goalie Jimmy Bickers to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead at the half.
The two teams continued to battle in the second half, with each team getting multiple shots on goal.
Midway through the second half, the Bruins struck again.
Peters sent a pass forward to junior striker Linden Loren who took a shot that deflected off of Bickers and out to the top of the penalty box.
But Aguirre was in the right place at the right time and rifled the rebound into the back of the net while Bickers was still out of position.
With a two-goal lead, the Bruins looked like they had a trip to the semifinals locked up, but the Mustangs continued to fight back and pressed the action.
"They were pushing the ball and we were just sitting back," Coach Gabe Anaya said. "I think we had them down, but then we let them come back."
The Mustangs answered back in the 70th minute as sophomore Robbie Erkeneff controlled a Bruin goal kick and passed the ball to junior Josh Smith who found an opening and fired the ball into the upper lefthand corner to cut the Bruin lead to one.
After the goal, the Mustangs intensified their pressure and relentlessly attacked the Bruin goal, not allowing the Bruins to cross midfield for the final 10 minutes of regulation.
"We just weren't getting to the ball the last 10 to 15 minutes of the game," Anaya said. "After they scored, I still thought we could hold it."
But in the 77th minute, the Mustangs were given a break as Weichers was called for an aggressive play in the air which resulted in a questionable penalty kick for the Mustangs.
Senior Justen Nielsen took the penalty kick and Anaya made an athletic play to block the initial shot, but Nielsen made a heads-up play and followed his shot, putting the rebound over Anaya's head to tie the game at 2-2 and send it into overtime.
The exhausted Bruins struggled to keep up with the Mustangs in overtime, but managed to fend off the attacks for the first 10-minute overtime period.
In the second overtime period, the Mustangs' Erkeneff made a run down the right sideline and crossed the ball to a streaking Corey Dean, who hammered home the eventual game-winning goal.
"What a show," Hidden Valley coach Robert Fate said. "A show was put on today by a bunch of warriors who wanted it. I got to hand it to this town, they really know how to rally around their troops."
The Bruin midfield, which consists of seniors Juan Garcia, Kyle Botnen and Skyler Shuford, who are known for being excellent passers, met their match in an equally impressive Mustang midfield.
The Bruins were hampered by injury and illness after Tuesday's win, with several key players missing practice at the end of last week.
"They gave everything up and didn't quit," Anaya said. "Now this school will expect to get this far every year. We just have to keep working and hopefully we can keep getting to this point."
"We had a great season and I'm proud of everyone on this team," Peters said.
The Bruins ended their year with an overall record of 10-3-2 and a Far West League Championship.
With the win, the Mustangs advance to the semifinals where they will have to travel to Milton-Freewater to play the two-time defending state champions, the McLoughlin Pioneers.