[dropcap size=”4″]O[/dropcap]ne could say that the RBHS soccer team is a late bloomer. This statement never rang so true as it did in yesterday’s state quarterfinal game against Ozark High School Nov. 5. They took their time to get settled, allowed the defense to handle the ball, and then exploded with offensive ferocity in the second half. The Bruins’ efforts once again led them to a 3-0 victory.
In the game, the Bruins looked calm and collected as though they had been playing this deep in the tournament for years. For head coach Scott Wittenborn, this had always been the plan for success.
“Going into [the] game, we just kept talking about keeping the same route and doing what we do,” Wittenborn said. “We always play our best when we play within our game plan, so I like to think that’s exactly what happened today.”
The Bruins showed off the team’s game plan early and often by possessing the ball for the majority of the game and constantly attacking. The first half saw the Bruins take six shots without finding the net, but in the 32nd minute of the second half, junior Nick Cary capitalized on the tired Ozark defense with a blazing shot from the top of the goalie’s box. Though it may have taken a while, Cary says the team was doing exactly what they needed to.
“Ozark had been playing pretty good defense up to when we first scored but all it took was for them to let up just once,” Cary said. “When they did we just immediately jumped on it and thankfully got it to go in.”
With two more goals on the day from junior Johnny Klein, the Bruins put Wittenborn’s plan into full effect, which will need to continue if they want any chance against nationally-ranked Rockhurst High School in the state championship on Nov. 11. Though the task may be daunting, coach Wittenborn still sees his group as being totally capable.
“Rockhurst is a really great team, one that is extremely well positioned at all times,” Wittenborn said. “Playing them will be extremely tough but beating them is totally possible. We’ve just been building up to the state championship so it never mattered who we played.”
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