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Bears Maul Knights in Opener

September 8, 2018

Yesterday evening, on a cool night that belied the hellish temperatures of the past week, the boys’ soccer team opened the season with a 5-0 non-league win over Smithtown Christian.

Taking the field in their “home blues” for the first time (thanks to a new NFHS rule), the Bears immediately began an attack that hardly abated for the entire eighty minutes of play. A season ago the Bears swept the season series with the Knights, by scores of 4-1 and 4-3, but trailed at the half in each match before second half surges. They would have no such trouble last night.

After a few early chances came up empty, the Brook got on the board less than six minutes into the game when Owen Sobel sent a gorgeous ball ahead to Jai Narain who carried it into the box, forcing a sliding stop from the keeper. A hustling Mo Romeus ensured the effort would not be wasted as he buried the rebound from just inside the 18-yard box to net the first goal of the season.

From there the Bears continued to dominate possession, sending wave after wave of attack at the Knight backfield. They extended the lead at the 14:55 mark of the first half, thanks to a 25-yard Tiger Winston free kick that kissed off the crossbar and dropped in front of a streaking Narain who buried it home. The lead stretched to 3-0 less than three minutes later after Caleb Spreckels sent a free kick from near midfield into the six-yard box where Romeus tucked it home. The Bears carried the commanding three-goal edge into the break.

The Bears got right back to work in the second half when Narain lofted a pass ahead to Sobel who chested the ball to himself between two defenders before finding the right side netting and a 4-0 advantage less than five minutes into the half. The combo joined forces again less than seven minutes later when Sobel sent a throw into the six-yard box where Narain corralled it and drilled a lefty dart into the right side netting. The goal capped the night’s scoring, but the offense remained relentless.

Watching the boys last night was a true joy. Their passing was precise and creative and rarely did the ball linger on a foot longer than necessary. Everyone was involved, everyone was dangerous and the attack was unceasing. The job done by coaches Tim Beirne and Nate DiMauro was astonishing in light of the lack of practice time the team has had due to the heat advisories of the first two weeks of school. The team had five outdoor practices prior to Friday’s game, including one that was cut in half due to thunder. Their effort despite the setbacks was remarkable.

On the defensive side, Lael Kutame, in his first career varsity start between the posts, anchored an effort that barely afforded the Knights a meaningful possession in the final third. Caleb Spreckels, Brandon Gicquel, Aidan Mega, Joe Spreckels, and Jake Aretz combined to make life difficult for the Knight’s speedy forward and swallowed up every hopeful through-ball. The effort ensured the first clean sheet for the Brook since a 7-0 Homecoming massacre of Smithtown Christian on Sept. 20, 2016. That win is part of the current six-game winning streak in the Holy War series, which the Bears have owned by an aggregate score of 25-4, including four shutouts.

The Bears return to the pitch on Wednesday as they travel to Our Savior for their first taste of PSAA league play.

One-Sided War

Current winning streaks vs. SCS:

  • Baseball: 4 (since 2017)
  • Boys’ Basketball: 21 (since 1999)
  • Girls’ Basketball: 2 (Since 2016)
  • Girls’ Soccer: 13 (since 2011)

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