Last Thursday’s men’s soccer match against Columbia International University began with chilly weather and ended with a cold loss of 4-1.
Although the game started slowly, it quickly escalated as Columbia placed two goals into the Bruins net within two minutes of each other. The first came as the ball bounced out of a scuffle outside the Bruins’ 18, just in time for a Rams’ striker to put it in the bottom left corner. Two minutes later, the ball was lofted right over senior keeper Joseph Wooster, glanced the crossbar, and fell back into the net.
With the score at 2-0, the Bruins took time to slow down and refocus. Intensifying the defensive effort, they managed to hold off the Rams’ offense, preventing them from getting a clear shot on goal. Sophomore John Wilson especially contributed, running the field and assisting on the defensive end. With 17 minutes to go, the play intensified as the Rams set up a close shot against the Bruins. The Bruins returned the favor by racing down the field and setting up freshman Jared Simmons with a great shot that was blocked at the last minute by the Rams’ goalie.
With 10 minutes left, sophomore Andrew Moisant took a deep shot from 35 yards, narrowly skimming the ball over the crossbar. Rebounding off the close miss, the Rams pressed down the field. The final minutes of the half were a battle for possession as the Bruins tried to place a goal on the scoreboard. Despite a well-placed header with five seconds left, the home team remained scoreless at the end of the half.
Freshman Bryce Colon opened up the half with a 40-yard shot that nearly brought the Bruins their first goal. Recovering quickly, the Rams took the ball down the field and took a shot of their own, only to be stopped by Wooster. Both teams covered the field, peppering the opposing goal with shots.
With less than 30 minutes remaining, freshman A.J. Redlinger received the ball 25 yards out from the Rams goal. With his back to the net, shielding a defender away, he finished the play with a rocket to the bottom right corner to bring the score to 2-1. The Bruins continued to lead the charge, taking shots that nearly equalized the score. On the opposite end of the pitch, Wooster delivered a stellar performance, making several close saves, but he was injured and forced to leave the game as the Rams scored their third goal.
The Rams scored again in the last five minutes of the match to seal the score at 4-1. Despite last-minute attempts, the Bruins were unable to muster another goal.
The game was a hard loss for the Bruins, but the team pressed on until the final whistle.
Looking back, Wooster commented, “I felt like it was a game we could have won. CIU was a team we could have beat, but right now we’re not consistent as a team. This has definitely been frustrating, but we took a couple steps forward. We saw guys step up and come on for guys that were injured. Walker, Hermann, Peek and Woodham were all guys that worked hard to turn the game around.” In describing his own spectacular saves, he modestly remarked, “Right place, right time, good things happen.”