High school soccer: Brookings Bobcats earn a draw in doubleheader with Pierre

LEFT: Bobcats forward Junior Eberline advances the ball into the offensive zone during a game against Pierre at the Fishback Soccer Complex in Brookings on Thursday afternoon. RIGHT: Bobcats forward Aubrey Knutzen charges toward the net during a game against Pierre at the Fishback Soccer Complex in Brookings on Thursday night. (Chris Schad/Brookings Register)

BROOKINGS — The Brookings Bobcats hosted the Pierre Governors for a doubleheader at the Fishback Soccer Complex on Thursday afternoon. The boys team battled to a 2-2 draw in the first game of the doubleheader while the girls lost 4-0 to the Lady Govs in the nightcap.

The Bobcats will return to action when they host a doubleheader against Harrisburg on Tuesday night.


 Brookings 2, Pierre 2

The Bobcats had a unique battle with the Governors in the opening game of the doubleheader, which was filled with physical play and a weather delay just after halftime.

The Governors controlled most of the first half with the wind at their backs but Junior Eberline was able to break through, scoring a goal to put Brookings on the board in the 22nd minute.

The Bobcats went into halftime with a 1-0 lead but the game was halted in the 43rd minute with lightning strikes in the area and the game resumed in the middle of a steady downpour.

“To be honest, as a player, I love those types of environments,” Weber said. “I told the players before we started back up for the second half, ‘Let’s just make a memory out of tonight,’ but ultimately we didn’t get the result we wanted.”

Pierre took advantage as the Bobcats tried to find their footing after the delay and tied the game on a goal from Javier Pretell Alegre in the 49th minute. But the Bobcats quickly responded as Eberline put Brookings back on top with his second goal of the game in the 57th minute.

“It helps to have someone that’s a very direct player that goes to the goal when he gets the ball,” Weber said of Eberline. “We’ve been trying to play a lot more direct in our last couple of games and that paid off for us today.”

The Bobcats momentum continued with a pair of scoring chances as Forrest Giarrd hit the crossbar in the 59th minute and Eberline missed an opportunity with a shot over the top of the goal later in the second half. With the door open, Pierre broke through, scoring the equalizer from Jacoby LaRoche in the 64th minute and hanging on for the draw.

“We just had a couple of unlucky breaks,” Weber said. “The game really could have gone either way. Both times we hit the post were unlucky times to do that and it’s disappointing not to get the win but it was a good battle, a fun game and a good environment for a soccer game today.”

Eberline finished with seven total shots with two on goal. Elie Wongondombi had three total shots, Isaiah Vogt had one shot, Girard had four total shots with one on goal, Brayden Schrieber had a shot on goal and Jordan Mofle and Noah Kiekhefer each had one shot in the draw. Goalkeeper Tony Nguyen also made nine saves on 11 shots.

The Bobcats are now 4-5-1 on the season.


 Pierre 4, Brookings 0

The Bobcats held tight with the Lady Govs through the first half but Pierre broke through to score four goals in the second half to come away with the victory.

Brookings head coach Adam Juba was particularly impressed with the Bobcats’ performance in the first half as goalkeeper Ashley Rients made seven of her 10 saves in the first half to keep the game scoreless heading into halftime.

“We were able to get some shots on goal and the game was pretty even in the first half,” Juba said. “We possessed the ball, played our game and we stuck to it. It was working well for us.”

While the Bobcats played well in the first half, things came apart just after halftime. Kathryn Hostler’s goal in the 49th minute opened the scoring for Pierre while a pair of goals by Natalie Flottmeyer in the 64th and 68th minute broke the game open.

Alyson Hutchinson’s goal from Ryann Barry in the 71st minute capped the scoring and accentuated the Bobcats’ need to play a complete game moving forward.

“We’re talking about how we can compete for 80 minutes in a game,” Juba said. “We’ve played 80 minutes in a game before and now it’s just…can we consistently do that? That’s something that we’re going to have to go to the drawing board and see how we can put together a full 80 minutes.”

The Bobcats had five shots on goal with four of them coming in the first half. Abby Mohs, Aubrey Knutzen, Shae Lefers and Elise Lefers all had shots on net in the first half and Lexi Erp added a shot on net in the second half.

Brookings is now 2-8 on the season.