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For all intents and purposes, Thursday night’s game between the Brookings-Harbor and North Bend boys soccer teams was a 0-0 tie.
The celebratory cries from the Bulldogs (4-1-5 overall, 3-1-4 Far West League) camp, juxtaposed with the crestfallen faces of the Bruins (9-0-2 overall, 7-0-1 Far West League) after the game however, suggested otherwise.
While the Bruins did not lose, they definitely could have — should have — won based on the numerous scoring opportunities they created for themselves. But for every chance, every moment that had the Bruin faithful ready to burst forth from their seats, North Bend’s senior goalkeeper August Baker was there to bring them back down to earth.
“It’s good for the boys to get challenged like that, their defense is very strong, and that goalkeeper, he made a lot of great saves today,” said Bruin head coach Jess Beaman. “We had all the chances in the world to put the ball in the back of the net and that goalkeeper just jumped right in front of it every time. There was one where he was just flopping around and just somehow blocking it.”
The game not only puts an end to the Brookings-Harbor’s eight-game win streak, but it also marks the first time this season that the offensive-minded Bruins were held scoreless in a game. Prior to Thursday, the Bruins had averaged 5.8 goals per game.
“I think his defensive line is very good allow letting the ball through and closing off the gap for us to get through,” Beaman said. “Then he comes out, but he did a very good job. We did good; we’re fine. We’ll still be first in league and we’ll move on from there.”
The Bruin’s first opportunity came early on, when junior midfielder Roman Worthey whetted the crowd’s appetite with a ball that ricocheted off the goalpost on a cross. Twelve minutes later, another opportunity appeared when junior midfielder Luke Beaman blitzed past the Bulldog secondary for an attempt in the box, but Baker deflected the shot, and somehow, the following two shots in the ensuing scramble.
In the 30th minute, the Bruins finally found the back of the net on a connection from Beaman to senior midfielder Sam Broberg, but their jubilation was short-lived as Broberg was ruled offsides.
Hungrier than ever, the Bruins did not let off the pressure in the second half, and had another prime opportunity when Beaman and senior captain Izaiha Bruce pingponged the ball deep in Bulldog property, only to whiff the shot in the 57th minute. The Bruin’s best look however, came 14 minutes later when Beaman was awarded a penalty kick. Audible sighs of relief and cheers slowly began reverberating from the stands, but as he had done so many times before, Baker, who tallied no less than 15 saves, silenced the crowd.
Brookings-Harbor will return to action next week to host South Umpqua on Tuesday (Oct. 17), where they will look to return to their scoring ways.
“I think we did fine, we did what needed to do,” Beaman said. “We just got to put it in the back of the net.”