STORY BY MITCHELL STEPHENSON | PHOTO BY CARL EDMONDSON, JR.
The Brentwood Bruins pulled off yet another tough victory to advance to the Class AAA state championship semifinals.
They defeated the Rossview Hawks 4-1, but the game was much closer than the score.
Both teams came out and showed intensity. Brentwood dominated the action for most of the first half by keeping the ball on Rossview’s half of the field. They had several scoring attempts that missed or were stopped by Roview goalkeeper Sawyer Griffy.
But finally at the 12:22 mark in the half Kieran Elliott scored off a deflected ball that he fought for and made an amazing shot past Griffy to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
But Rossview rebounded quickly and at the 8:26 mark Alasandro Papa scored to tie the score 1-1. It was the only goal that the Bruins senior captain and goalkeeper Jake Severino allowed. He played solid all night, thwarting several of the Hawks scoring attempts in both halves.
With the tension high the game went into halftime tied 1-1.
In the second half it was more of the same high intensity from both squads. Several scoring attempts were deflected by both goalkeepers and the game seemed in doubt for the Bruins.
But then Brentwood did what they have all season long. They found a way to win.
At the 16:41 mark Blake Chalfant scored an off assist from Reid McAdam to put Brentwood ahead 2-1.
Then at the 9:08 mark Chalfant scored again to widen the lead to 3-1.
Chalfant gave his thoughts on the Bruins winning effort.
“It was a good game all around,” he said. “We played them pretty closely throughout the game. In the second half they started coming on really strong, and I think we turned it up and put them away.”
Just for good measure, with 18 seconds left Naaseem AbuSalim scored on a break away to seal the deal at 4-1.
After the game Brentwood coach Mike Purcell shared that “[Rossview’s] speed killed us. The second half we adjusted. We have to play better tomorrow night. If we don’t play with more intensity, and focus it’ll be a long bus ride home.
“But the first game is hard at state. It’s hard to get the focus right. But I have no doubt we’ll be different tomorrow. It doesn’t mean we’ll play great but we’ll be ready.”
Brentwood will play the Bearden Bulldogs (19-3) in the state semifinals Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Siegel Soccer Complex (Field #3).