After celebrating senior night, the Bruins took the field against the Smith Cotton Tigers and secured hard-fought victory.The players played an electrifying 90 minutes against the Tigers to finish 3-2, leaving RBHS with their sixth consecutive victory.
In the beginning of the game, both teams had relatively equal possession with only a few on-target shots for each team. Within the first 15 minutes of the half, however, RBHS was awarded a penalty kick though the play yielded no goal for the Bruins as the ball was sent directly into the hands of the Tiger’s goalkeeper.
Only two minutes later, the Bruin’s offense charged into Smith-Cotton’s half of the field, which allowed senior defender Sean Koetting to score a powerful header into the back of the net.
“[The goal] was a result of a hustle play really, which followed by a great assist,” Koetting said. “It felt really good getting it.”
The last 20 minutes of the first half were an intense back and forth, which ultimately lead to the Tigers scoring with only two minutes until halftime.
Coming out of halftime tied, the Bruins led the attack with a newfound tenacity that resulted in yet another goal from Koetting only 10 minutes in, with junior midfielder Johnny Klein scoring RBHS’s third and final goal of the game three minutes later.
“You know, we didn’t play our best, but we played our butts off and we got the end result that we ultimately wanted,” senior midfielder and team captain, Drew Stanowski said.” It took a lot of heart to get the win tonight.”
With a more comfortable lead secured, the Bruins persevered through any exhaustions they were feeling and held on to the 3-1 advantage for a mere six minutes before the ball found it’s way into the back of the RBHS’s goal.
With only a one-point difference and 20 minutes of play left, both teams began to feel the pressure of the winding clock as more penalties, falls and shots were taken.
Head coach Scott Wittenborn said these last 20 minutes were overcome thanks to the Bruin’s size advantage on the defensive side of the field.
“[Smith-Cotton is] a fantastic team,” Wittenborn said. “For maybe the fifth game in a row, we found a way to win though. This game, we used our size well. We were definitely bigger than them in the back and we exploited that really well, and then hung on for the last bit of it.”
With high tensions and the looming feeling of the clock, a yellow card was drawn on a Smith-Cotton player after swiping the legs of senior forward Matthew Guess at the two-minute mark.
Despite the effort by the Tigers, the Bruins managed to emerge victorious with their sixth consecutive win and a strong sense of pride.
“We ran a lot of hustle plays, which led to most of our finishes and we played hard and beat them in size. It felt really good to score those two goals and get the win,” Koetting said.