Shamrocks blank Bobcats 4-0Published 9:36pm Monday, October 15, 2012
BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Brandywine boys soccer team was in position to get off to a great start Monday in its Division 3 district tournament match against Berrien Springs.
Instead, the Bobcats came up empty offensively and eventually fell to the Shamrocks, 4-0.
With 31:30 left in the first half, Brandywine’s Alex Ulrickson had a shot from 15 yards hit the crossbar.
“That would have given us a huge boost of confidence,” said Bobcats coach Evan Winkler about the effect an early goal would have had on his team, which finished at 5-15. “It was a great left foot shot and he’s a righty. Just a little lower and it gets in the net. It’s a huge difference-maker.”
After surviving that early scare, Berrien Springs caught a break when Geofrey Mfune’s shot hit the right post and went in to give the Shamrocks a 1-0 lead with 8:26 left in the first half. There would be no more scoring in the first half.
Brandywine had its three other shots in the first half stopped by Shamrock goalie Christian Haack. Berrien Springs had 13 shots in the first 40 minutes with five of those been stopped by Bobcat goalie Brock Hartline.
“I thought we played our best half of the whole year in that first half,” Winkler said. “We had some really good chances. I thought their goalie had to make a couple of really nice saves. If he doesn’t make those we could have led possibly 2-0.”
Brandywine generated less offense in the second half, but was able to stay within a goal for almost 25 minutes in the second half. Then, Berrien Springs took control. The Shamrocks scored three goals in less than two minutes. The first goal came from Giovanni Rocha from 15 yards with 15:42 left in the match. With 14:40 remaining, Samuel Martinez scored for Berrien Springs and teammate Carlos Contreras scored on a penalty kick with 13:55 left in the match.
“We got a little bit out of postion, kind of like some of the stuff we did earlier in the season when we were getting beat 8-0, 7-0 or 6-0,” Winkler said. “We lacked a little bit of communication in the back. Not doing those little things hurt us all year.”
Brandywine fell for the third time this season to Berrien Springs. The Shamrocks won the regular season matches, 8-0 and 4-0.
“I told our team to play 100 percent for the whole game tonight and they did,” Winkler said.
Because of that regular season success, Berrien Springs coach Art Zimmer was asked if he thought his team might have overlooked the Bobcats.
“I lot of our guys were overconfident,” said Zimmer, whose team moves on in the district tournament with a 10-8 record. “That killed us earlier in the year against Coloma. We should have beat Coloma and they beat us 2-1 in a shootout. Just glad that we re-focused tonight and, hopefully, this is a wake-up call for our team.”
After the match, Winkler met with his team for several minutes and had a message.
“I told them if you want to get better and improve and get more than five wins you have to start working in January and work all the way through before the start of next season,” Winkler said. “You can’t be satisfied. If you ask any of those seniors I guarantee you they’d say that they would love to have another year and get something back. But, it goes fast, and you have to make sure at the end of the season that you don’t have any regrets.”
Berrien Springs 1, Brandywine 0
BeS – Geofrey Mfune 8:26
BS – Giovanni Rocha 15:42
BS – Samuel Martinez 14:40
BS – Carlos Contreras (penalty kick) 13:55
Shots on goal
Berrien Springs 22, Brandywine 5
Christian Haack (Berrien Springs) 3
Brock Hartline (Brandywine) 6
Berrien Springs 4, Brandywine 2
Berrien Springs 10-8, Brandywine 5-15