The Bob Jones University Bruins defeated the Reinhardt University Eagles to earn a 3-2 win on Tuesday night. A late goal by senior captain Ryan McCarty improved BJU’s record to 4-2 on the season.
The Bruins possessed the ball early on, but the Eagles countered as Alan Barikos tracked down a long pass but fired a shot just wide of the net. The Eagles’ Jordan Williams had a close attempt on goal, but was saved by Bruins’ goalkeeper Andrew Kester. The Bruins’ Garrett Martin retaliated with a powerful shot on goal, but was blocked by the Eagles’ goalkeeper Torge Wiedenroth. After playing for 10 minutes, the Bruins’ Matt Moore found the back of the net to put the Bruins up 1-0.
Possession between the two teams was even for the rest of the first half. The Eagles recorded nine shots but were not able to finish as the Bruins aggressive defense kept the Eagles from capitalizing. Andrew Kester had a strong first half with four great saves. The Bruins kept the 1-0 lead at half time.
“There were moments in the game [when] we were very effective in moving the ball quickly through our midfield, and we really want to emphasize that speed and quality of play through the midfield,” Coach Jesse McCormick said.
The Eagles struck early in the second half as Jordan Williams scored to tie the game. BJU’s Ryan McCarty responded to the equalizer with a perfect pass to Jared Simmons, who buried a shot in the back of the net to put the Bruins up 2-1. Simmons fired another attempt on goal, but Wiedenroth grabbed it. With 18 minutes left, the Eagles tied the game again with a header by Williams. With 14 minutes to play, an Eagles’ foul set BJU up with a free kick just outside the box. Ryan McCarty fired a powerful strike into the bottom right corner of the goal to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
The Bruins’ Travis Woodham and Bryce Colon had excellent games for the defense and crippled most Eagles’ attempts on goal as the Bruins held off the Eagles and took a 3-2 win at Alumni Stadium.
“I thought we played with intensity the whole 90 minutes,” Hany Wahba said. “We kept the defense compact so their attacks would not come through.”
Jared Simmons said, “We had good energy, we fought hard the whole time, and it was great playing.”
Coach McCormick expressed appreciation for his captain after the game. “Ryan McCarty had a great game, bringing some of his energy defensively and creating opportunities offensively,” he said.
The Bruins will look to keep their positive momentum as they face Dalton State College.