SOCCER: Boilers comeback attempt denied by Griffins
BRADLEY — Bradley-Bourbonnais knew a perfect effort was required to knock off SouthWest Suburban Conference leaders Lincoln-Way East on Monday night.
And while the Boilers made it interesting on a few occasions, the Griffins’ offense was too explosive for the Boilers to contain as the Griffins left town with a decisive 6-3 victory.
The Boilers fell to 4-7-2 and 0-2 in conference play, and the Griffins improved to 10-4-1 and an unblemished 4-0 in conference play.
The first 34 minutes of the match were dominated by the Griffins, who were able to make runs past an aggressive Boilers defense to knock a trio of goals past keeper Emmet Wolff to deal the Boilers an early 3-0 deficit.
“I think what happened was we were playing a high line, they were just beating us in pace to get to the ball, and we just couldn’t catch up,” Boilers coach Rohan Robinson said. “We just made an adjustment to keep them in front of us ... and we made it a ballgame.”
The Boilers got on the board just before the half when Pete Sorich’s corner kick found the head of Lonnie Paden, who snuck it in the net to cut the Boilers’ deficit to 3-1.
And the Boilers came out hot in the second half, as Sorich scored a goal just three minutes into the half to make it a 3-2 score. After the Griffins doubled their lead back to 4-2, Sorich had another assist on a corner, this time setting up Collyn Hopkins, who headed home a goal to make it 4-3 with 18 minutes on the clock.
Robinson said the Boilers are at their best when Sorich is playing at the level he played at on Monday, and when teammates Jackson Jasmin and Nick Schiltz are at their best as well, the Boilers can compete with the best of them.
“For me, Pete is our player; he runs the offense, sees the game well and is our best player out there,” Robinson said. “No offense to Jackson and Nick; once the three of them put their heads on and command the game, the three of them are by far the best three in town.”
And while Sorich and company were able to again make it a one goal game, the Boilers just couldn’t hang with the mighty Griffins. It took them just three minutes to expand their lead back to 5-3, and Bill Haijar’s second goal of the game with a minute left sealed the deal at 6-3.
Robinson said his team’s grit and ability to come back will bode well in the long run but said there were a few mental miscues that hurt the Boilers down the stretch.
“For us to come out and be two goals down and give them a fight, I don’t even think (Lincoln-Way East) knew what was going on,” Robinson said. “I believe in (the Boilers), and they can do the things I want them to do. It shows in their character, but we have those little mental mistakes sometimes that cost us.”
The Boilers have another chance to earn their first conference win today with a home match against Lincoln-Way Central.