Bruins tame Cougars on home field with 4-1 win


Midfielder Lee Nichols played a solid role in the Bruins’ exciting win at home over the Clearwater Cougars. Photo: Holly Diller

The Sept. 26 matchup between the BJU Bruins men’s soccer team and the Clearwater Christian College Cougars was a roaring win for the Bruins. With full stands, Friday night lights and beautiful fall weather, the atmosphere of the match was electric. Taking the game 4-1, the Bruins relentlessly attacked and proved dominant against the Cougars.

While both teams came out with high energy, the Bruins took control from the beginning. Early shots from sophomore Eric Moisant and freshman AJ Redlinger put pressure on the Cougars and tipped momentum toward the Bruins. Deliberately moving the ball, the Bruins looked to open a gap in the Cougar defense.

Twenty minutes into the game, junior Ryan McCarty tore through the defenders and scored for the first goal of the game.

Looking to score again, the Bruins took a free kick that ricocheted off the crossbar. Despite the close miss, Clearwater didn’t have time to relax. After a few runs into Bruin territory, the Cougars spent the majority of the half fending off wave after wave of offensive attacks. With only 15 seconds left, a shot deflected off the right post of the Clearwater goal. Sophomore Andrew Moisant followed up and sank the ball into the back of the net, ending the half at 2-0.

The Bruins came out in the second half with the same ferocity they showed in the first. Combining skilled dribbling with strategic ball movement, the Bruins patiently probed the defense, looking for an opening. They didn’t have to wait long. With seven minutes elapsed, Ryan McCarty took the ball down the left side and sent it across the line. Sophomore John Wilson touched it outside the 18-yard line and sent the ball right past the goalie for a third Bruins goal.

The Cougars took the initiative and made some runs at the Bruins’ defense but, each time, they were stopped. While the Cougars desperately attempted to clear the ball with each Bruin attack, the home defense utilized its superior passing to deliberately push the ball up the field. Before the game, Coach Jesse McCormick had set a goal of 450 passes for the game. The team overwhelmed that goal with a record 496.

With 20 minutes left, Eric Moisant took a free kick that was deflected. John Wilson then took the rebound and placed a beautiful shot into the upper right corner of the net, giving him a second goal and the team its final goal of the night. Despite a Cougar goal with eight minutes left, the game was sealed for a Bruins win.

“We need to come out every game with the intensity we had Friday night,” said John Wilson. “It was fantastic playing in that kind of atmosphere. However, Clearwater is not our standard. Our goal is to glorify Christ with everything we do on the field. This year our motto is ‘pressing on.’ This means we have to go forward and take steps in the right direction.”

Friday’s win was definitely a step in the right direction but, more importantly, the team also honored Christ in the way it played. The Bruins are hoping to achieve another win Tuesday at Truett-McConnell College.