Following a seven hour bus ride the Brookings-Harbor High School boys soccer team was flat as the OSAA round-of-16 playoff game began. The Bruins, facing the Warriors of Philomath, needed to be on top of their game in order to advance to the next round of the playoffs and when they came out flat they fell, 1-4 against a Warrior team that, while not technically superior, was the better team Tuesday.
"We only played the last 15 minutes," Head Coach Gabriel Anaya said. "What we normally do, we didn't do. Our passing was bad and we weren't together for most of the game."
The Bruins had multiple looks on goal including a shot by Wyatt Aldrich midway through the first half that missed just outside the right goalpost, and a soaring shot by David Daniels that got tipped over the bar by an alert Warriors' goalkeeper. Alan Anaya scored the Bruins lone goal on the afternoon, a solo piece that was too little, too late, as the game ended just minutes after he scored.
One of the problems Anaya saw on the field was that of speed.
"We got beat to the ball all the time," he explained. "They were faster and wanted the ball more. You can't win if you aren't trying to get the ball first."
According to junior Nels Johnson, the team played well, but he agreed with Anaya that they started slow.
"We've been doing really good," Johnson said. "They were a better team than us, and we started slow. We tried to get it back but we couldn't."
The Bruins won a round-of-24 play-in game over La Grande High School, 3-0 to make it into the 16-team playoff round but were unable to carry the momentum. The Bruins' play on Saturday was more indicative of the way they've played all season, with a slow first half, 0-0, and then an explosion in the second andndash; goals by Alan Anaya, Wyatt Aldrich and Derek Hodge.
The Bruins end their season with a record of 12-4-1.
The Brookings-Harbor High School girls soccer team defeated the McLoughlin Pioneers on Saturday, 2-1 (4-2 PKs) in order to advance to the first round of the OSAA state soccer playoffs where they matched up against the second highest ranked team in the state, the Indians of Scappoose, and lost 0-13.
"There is a reason they are ranked second in state," Head Coach Fred Juarez said. "They smashed us. ..."
The Bruins' game on Saturday was immensely more dramatic than the 0-13 drubbing they received at the hands of the Indians: it went into double overtime and came down to penalty kicks.
After ending regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods with a score of 1-1, the Bruins' Crystal Rodriguez made the first penalty kick and got the Lady Bruins off to a solid start.
The Pioneers' kicker missed wide before Hannah Baron's penalty kick was blocked. McLoughlin made the following two shots but were answered by the Bruins' Karlie Gonzalez and Jade Heredia as they made both of their shots. McLoughlin missed the next shot and the chance for victory came down to senior Gemma Cowan.
"I was thinking, 'Oh crap,'" Cowan said. "But then I went up there and I thought 'This isn't so far away.' It was certainly nerve wracking."
Cowan typically plays defense and was chosen by Juarez for her confidence under pressure. It paid off. Cowan made her shot and the Bruins won the match.
"I had six players chosen to shoot and I was sure about the first four, but I wasn't sure about the last two," he said. "We practiced them yesterday and Gemma was wrapping her shot around the goal. The sixth was Brenna Clarke who is a freshman and when it came down to it, I decided to go with the veteran and take some pressure off."
Juarez, following the loss to Scappoose was positive about the season as a whole.
"We had a great season overall," he explained. "We won a play-in game and we got beat but we never gave up. I'm proud of them regardless the score."
The Lady Bruins end the season with a record of 11-5.