After defeating Rolla 3-1 in a state sectional match Tuesday, Nov. 8, the boys’ soccer team advances to the state quarterfinals. Junior Patrick Bromstedt scored just before halftime to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead, and junior Ryan Stanowski scored with 12 minutes remaining in the game to seal the victory.
The Bruins (26-3) are ranked first in the state and 38th nationally, but do not let the ranking guide the games or their mindset while preparing for the game.
“A lot of us don’t like the ranking because it puts a target on our backs,” junior Eli Sherman said. “We know that every team is going to be gunning for us so they can say they knocked off the one seed.”
The team played Rolla their second game of the season and beat them 2-1, but the Bruins were still a little worried going into tonight’s match. A few players remember Rolla as a tough opponent, but others had bigger concerns.
“The thing is, I couldn’t remember much about how Rolla played the first time because it was our second…game, which was a long time ago,” Sherman said. “That kind of scared me a little, not being able to remember an opponent.”
At the same time, having the experience they gained throughout the season prepared the Bruins to go for a sectional win.
“We were all confident we were going to get here, all of us were really eager for this game,” senior goalkeeper Andrew Bare said. “We came out ready and did work.”
The Bruins’ next opponent will be the winner of the tomorrow’s District 10 sectional match between Carthage (18-6) and Nixa (23-3). The quarterfinal game will be Nov. 12. The location of the match is yet to be determined.
“We understand that we haven’t done anything yet,” Bare said. “All our focus is going to be on our next opponent, we’re not looking ahead. That’s the way we’ve played all season, and it’s worked so far.”
The Bruins have not played against Carthage this season but have played against Nixa. In the Bruin match-up against the Eagles Oct. 8, the team was surprised by the first 10 minutes. Nixa was “one of the first teams that came out harder than us,” Sherman said. The Bruins later defeated them 2-0.
As the team moves on to quarterfinals, one opponent they will not have to worry about playing in future games is the only Missouri team who beat the Bruins this season. RB boys lost three games this season: two to Illinois teams (O’Fallon High School and Quincy Notre Dame), and one to Rockhurst (22-3-1), which placed first last year at the state championships. This year, although Rockhurst is ranked second in the state, second in the region, and previously 16th in the nation, the Hawklets did not make sectionals.
“We were all pretty excited to hear about the Rockhurst loss,” Sherman said. “But we try only to think about the game in front of us because if we don’t win that one, the season’s over and it doesn’t matter who else lost because we’re done.”
By Mike Presberg and Daphne Yu