By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
Despite the soggy conditions, the Brookings-Harbor High School boys' soccer team proved that they are one of the best passing teams in the league as they picked apart the Sutherlin Bulldogs in a 6-0 win Thursday.
"Every game we've been focusing more on passing and give-and-go's," Junior Linden Loren said. "There's lots of talking and we're connecting out there and we're just getting better and better every game."
In the first 20 minutes of play, the Bruins (8-1-1) put on a passing clinic, even in less than perfect conditions, that resulted in four goals and a commanding lead.
"We started out with a different formation today," Coach Gabe Anaya said. "We wanted them to have the game right from the start."
The Bruins started out with three forwards, instead of just two, and played defender Jordan Weichers as more of a midfielder.
"It was like we were attacking with six players," Anaya said. "We had a lot of clear opportunities."
Mark Aguirre started out the scoring in the eighth minute as he beat the goalie in the bottom left corner off of a beautiful touch pass from Loren.
Three minutes later, the superb passing continued as Skyler Shuford faked a shot and then found Loren who scored his first of four goals on the afternoon to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Just two minutes later, Aguirre scored his second goal of the game on a loose ball deflection, giving the Bruins a 3-0 lead.
Aguirre and Loren hooked up again in the 20th minute, this time with Aguirre finding Loren for his second goal and a 4-0 lead.
With six minutes left to play in the half, goalie Gabe Anaya booted a long ball up field that Aguirre corralled and tapped back to Loren, who fired a hard shot into the back of the net to complete the hat trick and give the Bruins a 5-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, Loren wrapped up the scoring for the Bruins in the 57th minute with his fourth goal of the game with an assist by Blake Peters.
The Bruin midfielders (Shuford, Peters, Kyle Botnen and Juan Garcia), who are some of the best passers in the league, continuously worked the ball all across the field, finding the open man and looking for opportunities.
But the passes start back in the defense as well.
Instead of just booting the ball as soon as they get it, the Bruin defenders control the ball and look for the open man.
The defense is led by Weichers and Alan Freeman in the middle and Geoff Gowman and Jose Munoz on the outside.
Freeman, who is clearly the loudest on the Bruin backline, is constantly talking to his teammates, trying to motivate them and get them pumped up.
"I just try and talk it up," Freeman said. "When we communicate with each other, everything goes a lot better."
The Bruins did a good job protecting their goalie, Anaya, who recorded his third shutout of the year.
With just two league games left, the Bruins only need one more win to clinch the Far West League championship.
Their next game is on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at North Bend at 7 p.m.