The Bruins lost their final men’s soccer game of the 2014 regular season 6-1 Saturday to the Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies.
For the Bruins, this 17-game season was full of highs and lows, moments of triumph and moments of defeat. Posting a record of five wins and 12 losses, the members of the team kept their heads high and their testimonies strong on and off the field.
For them, the motto “pressing on” wasn’t just something they said before a game. It was a call to glorify God, no matter what the circumstances.
Posting five consecutive losses before Saturday’s game, the Bruins were coming off a rough stretch. The Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies, on the other hand, had only lost two games in their entire season.
Despite the daunting situation, the Bruins planned to roar one last time. Playing without veteran keeper Joseph Wooster, who was scratched due to a knee injury, sophomore Philip Gibble took his place.
In the opening minutes, the Bruins and Grizzlies traded possession, feeling out each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Although the Grizzlies drew first blood in the shots on goal department, the Bruin offense responded with several shots of their own. Not daunted by their opponent, the Bruins pressured the ball as both sides tried to get that first goal.
With 20 minutes left in the first half, the Grizzlies broke through the Bruins’ defense and scored.
Ten minutes later, the Grizzlies scored again. One more goal, with five minutes left, put the opponent up 3-0 as they finished up the half with an exclamation point.
In summarizing the first half, sophomore Ryan Woodham said, “We played a high level of soccer in the first half, but the breakdowns we had led to goals. Two of the goals were because of miscommunication. The few times we slipped up, [Georgia Gwinnett] managed to score.”
In the second half, the Bruins switched their defensive approach from a low-pressure strategy to one that covered the entire field. The defense held for most of the half, keeping the Grizzlies at bay.
An illegal slide tackle from the Grizzlies resulted in a yellow card and an injured Bruin, Ryan Woodham. But the Bruins did not let the injury discourage them. They kept pushing forward in an attempt to break through the Grizzly defense for the first time.
Eventually the Grizzlies’ aggressive defensive strategy took its toll on the Bruins. The defense began to spread too much, resulting in breakdowns. With 15 minutes left in the half, the Grizzlies scored their fourth goal. Five minutes later, they scored two more goals, 30 seconds apart.
Junior Travis Woodham, with an assist from freshman A. J. Redlinger, scored the lone goal for the Bruins with seven minutes left in the match.
Despite this loss, the Bruins left everything on the field and gave the fans some incredible memories this season.