By Jef Hatch
Special for the Pilot
As the temperature dropped and the fog rolled in Thursday, the Bruins defeated the Pacific High Pirates 2-1, continuing the dominant play that has made them a leader in the Far West League.
Battling the cold and low visibility only seemed to intensify the Bruins resolve and the low score belies the hyper-aggressive play of the Bruins squad, with 20-plus shots on goal missing only by inches. And they did it all without key players once again.
"We are playing without two key starters," Coach Gabriel Anaya said. "It can be very difficult to play without your starters, especially when they are as important to the team as Linden Loren and Jordan Weichers are."
He added, "We haven't had a practice with a full complement of starters yet, but it has made the team better."
"We've brought up some freshman to give them experience, but we hope to have Loren and Weichers back soon."
With 35 minutes remaining in the first half, Dylan Roberts booted a corner kick across the heads of Pirate defenders, off the hands of the Pirate goalie, and Kevin Sthen headed it in for the first goal of the match.
Shortly after, a Pirate forward scored the team's first and only goal following a controversial non-call by the referee in which Bruins goalie Gabe Anaya was knocked to the ground, causing the ball to be kicked free.
With 19:50 remaining in the first half, Roberts scored on a beautiful kick from Sthen, giving the Bruins the second goal of the game.
The Pirate goalie confronted a barrage of shots on goal throughout the game, but many of the Bruin shots simply floated just high of the bar or just wide of the posts.
"We had a lot of opportunities to score," Anaya said. "We just need to take better advantage of the goal and make our shots count."
The Bruins next home match-up is at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, against the Bulldogs of Sutherlin.
In other soccer news, the Lady Bruins tied the Glide Wildcats 1-1 in what proved to be a tough away game Thursday.
First half of the game remained tied 0-0, with the Lady Bruins dominating the playing field, allowing only two shots on goal while taking 15 of their own.
In the second half of the game, Ally Manley scored on a throw in from Miriam Hernandez to put the Lady Bruins up 1-0.
With a minute and half left in the match, Emily Bottoms made a spectacular save, which drew her out of position for the rebound shot taken by the Wildcats forward, which tied the game at 1-1.
Regular season soccer does not employ tie-breakers and so the Bruins come home with a tie.
Fred Juarez contributed to this report.