Rookies shine as BJU captures season’s first victory at home


The Bruins men dominated against Montreat College on Tuesday. Photos: Ethan Rogers and Holly Diller

Tuesday’s home game against the Montreat College Cavaliers featured a variety of firsts for the Bruins men’s soccer team. Not only did four Bruins players score their first collegiate goals, but the Bruins also scored their first goals of the season and captured their first win in a 4-1 victory.

Both teams came out with early shots on goal, desperately trying to gain an early lead. The late rain on the field added to the intensity as the competitors tried to gain traction and dig in for the match ahead. Barely five minutes into the game, sophomore John Wilson placed a shot at the goal, only to be deflected by the Cavaliers’ keeper. However, freshman AJ Redlinger was placed perfectly to rebound the ball right back into the net. His first collegiate goal placed the Bruins up 1-0, and gave the team an early boost of confidence.

After numerous runs by John Wilson and a great save by keeper Joseph Wooster, the Cavaliers scored their first goal with roughly 40 minutes left in the half. Despite intense pressure by the Bruins offense, the score remained tied 1-1 at the half.

With 30 minutes left in the game, sophomore Will Peek scored his first collegiate goal off a rebound from freshman Jared Simmons. His goal was followed 25 minutes later by sophomore Ryan Woodham’s tap into the net, assisted by John Wilson. These goals gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead with less than five minutes left to play. Just when it seemed the game was finished, freshman Garrett Martin lit up the field with a rocket shot into the upper corner of the Cavaliers net. His goal from 30 yards out gave the Bruins a satisfying close to a well-played game.

Woodham, who scored his first collegiate goal as a Bruin in the second half of the game, said, “Today we had over 400 connected passes, while the past two games we only had about 200. Those figures show how we controlled the game through possession of the ball, which really helped us. Also, three of our goals happened because of rebounds. We followed up and were there in the right place.”

Tuesday’s game revealed a Bruins team that controlled the game on their turf and on their terms. The Bruins will look to follow their win with another on Sept. 19 against Toccoa Falls College.