By Mathew Brock

Pilot Sports Writer

With league play behind them, the Bruins entered the first round of the 3A state playoffs on Tuesday when they took down the Rogue River Chieftains at a clean 4-0.

“We had a good game through the second half,” said Bruins coach Jess Beaman. “We had to work hard just to get our first goal in and it was a very physical game.”

The Bruins will progress to the second round this Saturday when they face either the Taft Tigers or the Riverside Pirates, with the Pirates favored to win. The Pirates ended their season ranked No. 5 in the OSAA 3A rankings, while the Tigers are ranked No. 13. The Bruins continue their season nearly undefeated at 13-1 and ranked No. 4 in the OSAA.

Tuesday’s game saw the Chieftains come out in force during the first few minutes of the game, making several quick shots on the goal and putting the Bruins goalie to the test. They were unable to score however and the Bruins quickly shifted play to the center of the field.

From there the Bruins maintained a strong defense and kept consistent possession against the Tigers. Fabian Villa managed to score once in the first half right at the 13-minute mark before winding things down into the second.

The second half saw the Bruins continue to keep a solid hold on the ball and finding many opportunities to shoot. The Chieftains goalie was on point however and managed to block the majority of the Bruins shots. The Bruins finally got another ball by at the 20-minute mark with a goal Jair Valdovinos from and from there the game started winding down. As the second half drew to a close, Luke Beaman scored with 3 minutes left and Fabian took the final point with only 12 seconds remaining.

Beaman feels confident about the Bruins current level of play but noted that the team needs to work on keeping a level head now that they’re going to be facing more competitive opponents. The team is also adjusting to harder calls from the referees now that they’ve entered playoffs.

“We’ve gotta keep out heads in there and keep our cool a little better, especially when we start getting called like that,” Beaman said. “Other than that, I can see they’ve been jamming people into the middle to go after Luke (Beaman), but then we get to see Fabian (Villa) and Jair Valdovinos) get more involved.”

The Bruins play again this Saturday with the time and opponent yet to be decided. You can check for the latest updates to their schedule at http://www.osaa.org/teams/23906.

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