BROOKINGS – Both the Brookings boys and girls soccer teams were happy to be playing at home against the Pierre Governors instead of making the long trek to the capital city, but Pierre came into Brookings and picked up a pair of wins in soccer action on a hot and windy night at Fishback Soccer Park.
Both the boys and girls teams host Harrisburg on Tuesday for Bobcat homecoming. The boys game starts at 4 p.m. with the girls match getting under way at 6 p.m.
• Pierre 3, Brookings 2
The Bobcats had twelve shots compared to just five for the Governors in the first half as Brookings had a strong southern wind at their back, but Pierre managed to get two shots on goal compared to the Bobcats’ one,
However, Brookings made theirs count.
Rylan Eide was awarded and scored on a penalty kick to the give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute, the only score of the first forty minutes.
Brookings would control the pace in the first twenty minutes of the second half, which was part of the game plan according to head coach Steve Binkley.
“We had a really good game plan going into tonight, and right up until about the hour mark of the game we did everything right,” Binkley said. “And when we played with the lead in the second half we controlled the ball and frustrated Pierre.”
Just past the halfway point of the second half the Governors got on the scoreboard when Cole Peterson snuck one past Bobcat goalie Tyler Sprang in the 63rd minute to tie the game at one.
Just four minutes later Pierre would take the lead as Peterson as again scored to put the Govs up 2-1.
Pierre would make it 3-1 in the 74th minute when Rylan Derry found the back of the net, but the Bobcats would answer just two minutes later when Brookings’ Kole Kalber brought the ‘Cats within a goal at 3-2.
However, with the wind the Governors were able to control possession and run out the clock for a 3-2 win.
For Binkley, the turning point in the second half came off one error.
“Suddenly we make one mistake and the whole game starts slipping away, and after that point I felt we chased instead of letting the game come to us,” Binkley said.
Despite the outcome and the sudden shift in momentum the Bobcats scratched and clawed to stay in it.
“I was really proud that we got one back and that our guys didn’t give up when we got down by two, but it definitely didn’t feel like the outcome we deserved after a good week of practice and some really good play in the game,” added Binkley.
Brookings (2-7-1) has just three games left to prepare before postseason play begins on October 5.
“It’ll be these last three games before postseason, can we get rid of those mistakes and be at one-hundred percent instead of ninety-nine percent,” Binkley added.
• Pierre 5, Brookings 2
Pierre scored twice in the first seven minutes of the game on goals from Ryann Barry and Gracelyn Taylor to gain early momentum, but a foul by the Governors goalie drew a red card and just under eight minutes into the match Brookings would play the remainder of the night with an 11-on-10 advantage, and against a backup goalie.
“We came out a little sleepy early and gave up those two quick ones that we weren’t quite ready for,” said head coach Adam Juba.
Unfortunately for Brookings they were unable to do anything with the advantage as the Governors would add a third goal off the foot of Kamden Kuipers with 15:05 left in the first half to go up 3-0.
Barry would add her second goal in the 68th minute to put Pierre up 4-0.
With just eleven minutes left to play the Bobcats’ Elise Lefers got one past the Pierre keeper to bring Brookings within three at 4-1.
The Governors regained a four-goal advantage just two minutes later when Avery Davis snuck behind the Bobcat defense and scored on a breakaway to put the visitors up 5-1.
However, Brookings would continue to fight as Maddix Archer ripped one past the Pierre goalie to make it 5-2, but that’s as close as the Bobcats would get.
“We had the advantage after the red card, but unfortunately it took us until there was just ten minutes left before we could take advantage of it,” Juba said.
Despite being down 4-0 late coach Juba commended his team’s effort and unwillingness to back down.
“I applaud the girls for not quitting the entire game. Even when it was 4-0 at one point we came back and scored two goals, so I’m proud of them for not giving up,” Juba added.
Brookings (1-8-1) has three games remaining before postseason play begins.