Strong defense aids Bruins in shutout

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Strong defense aids Bruins in shutout

The Bruins’ Tommy Sims battles goalkeeper Stephen Replogle for the ball in Friday night’s win over Columbia. Photo: Emma Klak

The BJU Bruins men’s soccer team continued its recent winning streak last Friday night, beating the Columbia International College Rams 4-0.

From early on, Bruins defenders Joel Cave and David Overly kept the Rams from gaining possession, which gave Bruin forwards goal shot opportunities. A goal 13 minutes into the game was counted as off-sides, but forward Travis Woodham scored 20 minutes later off of a lead pass from Matt Moore.

The Bruins pressured the Rams goalie and defense incessantly, taking 14 shots in the first half. Dominating possession in the second half, BJU kept the Rams to a single shot in the second, for a total of five for the entire game.

Forward Matt Moore said the Bruins came into the second half determined to play their hardest, even though they were winning. “Coach wanted each of us to give our best, not just one or two players, and that changed our playing in the second half,” Moore said.

Moore scored after a beautiful give-and-go play between him and midfielder Ryan McCarty, bringing the score to 2-0. The Bruins scored again five minutes later after forward Stephen Lovelace penetrated the box and assisted McCarty for the goal.

The Bruins defense sealed off any chances for the Rams, continuing to clear out the ball and giving the Bruin offense chances to score.

With minutes left in the game, forward Jordan Allen took a free kick, which midfielder Cody Lehman headed across the goal to McCarty. McCarty then volleyed the ball in an open box for the fourth and final goal.

Columbia International is also a first-year program, and inconsistent passes combined with 13 fouls hindered their chances to generate any offensive threats. BJU played well, maintaining possession of the ball and cleaning up the passing game.

The Bruins look to keep their shutout streak alive when they travel to Tennessee to take on Hiwassee College this afternoon.