A fast-paced, energy-filled second half helped the Branson soccer team win their second game of the season against Logan-Rogersville 4-3.
Branson coach David Brenner said, “I was impressed with the team, because even when we went behind, we didn’t get our heads down. We have worked really hard on conditioning and it showed at the end of the game.”
The Pirates were ahead at half-time 1-0 with a goal by senior Anthony Schreffler.
Logan-Rogersville takes the momentum starting the second half. In just four minutes, the Wildcats’ Tucker Brown gets a shot over senior goalie Bryce Vandenhoek’s hands tying the score at one.
Logan-Rogersville coach Brett Wubbena said, “This was our first games, so to get the jitters out I think it took a little bit. It’s a new system we are running, so the half-time helped to get them settled down and reorganized.”
One minute later, Logan-Rogersville’s Ty Stevens, a junior, takes a corner kick. There is confusion in the goalie box and the Wildcats’ Nick Hurshman scores giving them the lead.
“It is a game of momentum and it only takes two minutes and the game can change,” Brenner said. “When we stopped doing what we were supposed to do on defense; they took advantage of our lack of focus.”
Hurshman, a senior, centers the ball to Brown in the 53rd minute. Brown, a sophomore, has a one-on-one shot with Vandenhoek and slips it past him giving the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.
“First games are always bad and I think we might have run out of gas at the end,” Wubbena said.
Branson takes the back the momentum in the 60th minute when senior Nick McDowell gets a clear shot 15 yards from the goal. He scores in the bottom left corner closing the Wildcats lead to one.
The Pirates’ Patrick Hubbard, a senior, dribbles around the defenders at midfield and breaks away. He has a one-on-one shot with the Wildcats’ goalie Derek Louderbaugh. He scores to tie the game 3-3.
With less than two minutes left in the game, Schreffler dribbles the ball down the left side of the field and centers the ball. Hubbard is there to receive it and sends it soaring into the net securing the Pirates victory as the clock winds down.
“Patrick is a four-year starter and we expect him to lead us when we need leadership,” Brenner said. “He is nursing a small injury, but when I tried to rest him, he told me, ‘the team needs me and if you need me I’ll go’.”
The Wildcats’ Louderbaugh, a senior, had 12 saves on the night while Branson’s Vandenhoek had eight saves.
Branson plays its first Central Ozarks Conference game next Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Ozark. Logan-Rogersville’s next game is Thursday, Aug. 30 at home.
Branson- Anthony Schreffler (unassisted)
Rogersville- Tucker Brown (unassisted)
Rogersville-Nick Hurshman (Ty Stevens assisted)
Rogersville-Tucker Brown (Nick Hurshman assisted)
Branson- Nick McDowell (unassisted)
Branson- Patrick Hubbard (unassisted)
Branson- Patrick Hubbard (Anthony Schreffler assisted)
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