The Bruins snatched their first win in intercollegiate sports with a 2-1 defeat over the Freed-Hardeman University Lions last Thursday night.
The first half was filled with multiple goal opportunities for both teams as Matt Moore led the charge for the Bruins and Christopher Campbell fired away for the Lions.
Bruin goalie Cam Lawson barely got a finger on a vicious shot that banged off the post in the 16th minute, and Bruins fans held their breath as the ball rolled across the front of the goal before going out of bounds.
BJU was anxious to score, but couldn’t find a way to put the ball past FHU keeper Zach Johnson.
The Bruins’ Joel Cave held the defense together as the Lions attempted to push their way toward the goal. Cave cleared a critical shot as the halftime clock wound down, keeping the Lions scoreless and saving Bruin morale.
With the score tied at zero, the second half started much the same as the first.
But in the 66th minute the Lions’ Campbell fired a free kick straight through the BJU defensive wall to give Freed-Hardeman the lead.
Lions players showed signs of their eight-hour bus ride fatigue as many of their players began cramping, and Captain Tafara Tinarwo left the game after a collision with a teammate.
The Bruins took advantage of the Lions’ misfortune in the 77th minute as Jordan Allen stabbed a loose ball into the back of the net to equalize the score at 1-1.
With less than 10 minutes left on the clock, freshman Travis Woodham charged the net with the ball and threaded a cross to Mark Bonikowsky.
Bonikowsky took the shot, but a Lions defender deflected the ball away from the net and back to Bonikowsky, who didn’t hesitate to send the ball straight back to the goal to put the Bruins in front to stay.
So how did it feel to score the first game-winning goal in Bruins history? “It feels really good,” Bonikowsky said. “I’m thankful the Lord gave me the opportunity to play and the opportunity to score a goal.”
Coach Jesse McCormick was excited to get the first win early in the season and gave the Lord the praise and the glory for the historic event.
The Bruins added another win on Saturday when they beat the Tennessee Temple Crusaders 7-3. They look to keep their winning streak going this Saturday when they travel to face Georgia Gwinnett College.