MRH Upsets Soccer Team in District Semi

Brentwood players line up to slap hands with Crossroads after a Current win on April 28. They are (from left) Anna Blomstrom, Mickey Torres, Emma Stoverink, Julianna Nikodym, Natalie Featherston, Torri Brotherton, Madeline Neely, Aileen Frazier, Amanda Ingersoll, Abby Harper and Kate Gilmore. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
Brentwood players line up to slap hands with Crossroads after a Current win on April 28. They are (from left) Anna Blomstrom, Mickey Torres, Emma Stoverink, Julianna Nikodym, Natalie Featherston, Torri Brotherton, Madeline Neely, Aileen Frazier, Amanda Ingersoll, Abby Harper and Kate Gilmore. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

Eagles lead 1-0 before Blue Devils pour in 6 goals

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

How do you explain the Brentwood girls soccer team’s collapse against Maplewood-Richmond Heights in the Class 1 District 2 playoffs last week at Principia? That’s a tough one to answer.

The Eagles entered the semifinals having won five of their last six games. They’d gone 7-1 in their conference to win it outright for the first time in three years. The coaches in the district had voted them the No. 2 seed, ahead of No. 3 MRH. Perhaps the coaches had considered that BHS had lost to Hillsboro by only one goal, MRH by five goals.

So the Eagles had reasons for high hopes, especially considering that the team that had ended their season in the district playoffs each of the past four years, John Burroughs, was no longer in the district.

The high hopes spiked 15 minutes into the Maplewood game when Tara Lochmoeller scored to give BHS a 1-0 lead.

“It got our hopes up really high,” said Lochmoeller. “I was like, ‘Oh, we’re winning, we’re gonna go past districts.’”

Tara Lochmoeller takes the ball past a Hancock player early this season.
Tara Lochmoeller takes the ball past a Hancock player in Brentwood’s 9-2 victory on April 23.

But then it happened. The Blue Devils, perhaps shocked at the prospect of losing, scored three quick goals for a 3-1 lead in the first half. The Eagles never recovered. Lochmoeller, a senior honor student, struggled for words to explain why.

“After we took the lead we got really, like, I don’t know if we got relaxed or something,” she said. “But then it was three goals — one, two, three — in practically five minutes. And then more, more, six to one.”

Madeline Neely against Hancock on May 2.
Madeline Neely dribbles against Hancock last month.

Two big reasons were MRH’s Gracie Biedenstein and Emma Bright, who teed off on goalkeeper Audrey Brown a combined 19 times, five of them goals. Rudy Grein scored as well. Brown made 25 saves to Gabby Campanella’s 17.

Cierra Lucas (left) covers MRH's Gracie Biedenstein in a game last year.
Cierra Lucas (left) covers MRH’s Gracie Biedenstein in a game last year. Biedenstein scored three goals against the Eagles last week in a district semifinal.

Though her team lost by five, Lochmoeller said it didn’t feel as if her Eagles were dominated.

“I was surprised: Midfield had a lot of space to just dribble,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of pressure on us most of the time. We played well individually but just not well as a team – we just weren’t stringing passes together.”

Julianna Nikodym controls the ball in the loss to Crossroads.
Julianna Nikodym controls the ball in the loss to Crossroads.

The Blue Devils, 13-11, went on to lose 8-1 to top-seeded Principia for the district title.

Though the season had a disappointing end, Lochmoeller is glad her senior class led an about-face of the soccer program — from last place in 2014 to first place.

“I’m glad we came out with the conference championship,” she said. “I’m so happy to have ‘2015’ up on that banner in the gym.”

Gabby Naumann knees the ball as a Hancock player closes in.
Gabby Naumann knees the ball as a Hancock player closes in.
Brentwood goalkeeper Audrey Brown stops a shot from assistant coach Rob Doebber in warmups before the Hancock game on April 23.
Brentwood goalkeeper Audrey Brown stops a shot from assistant coach Rob Doebber in warmups before the Hancock game on April 23.

Brentwood’s final record:
10-5 overall, 7-1 in league
April 2: lost 3-2 vs. Tower Grove Christian
April 6: won 3-1 vs. Bayless
April 13: won 5-1 at Crossroads
April 15: won 2-0 vs. Metro
April 21: won 3-1 at Valley Park
April 23: won 9-2 vs. Hancock
April 27: lost 9-0 vs. Christian O’Fallon
April 28: lost 1-0 vs. Crossroads
May 4: won 4-1 at Riverview Gardens
May 5: won 2-0 at Bayless
May 7: won 4-1 vs. University City
May 8: won 5-1 vs. Valley Park
May 11: won 5-0 at Hancock
May 13: lost 1-0 vs. Hillsboro
May 18: lost 6-1 vs. MRH at Principia

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