BHS to Face Crossroads In District Playoffs

Justin Redfering moves to stop a shot from Liberty-Wentzville's James Boyd in the first half of Liberty's 3-0 victory on Thursday in Brentwood. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
Justin Redfering moves to stop a shot from Liberty-Wentzville’s James Boyd (left) in the first half of Liberty’s 3-0 victory on Thursday in Brentwood. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

BHS is 0-2 vs. Current but both games were close

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

The Brentwood High School boys soccer team ended its regular season last week with a 9-11 record and, for the third year in a row, a third-place finish in the South Central AA Conference.

That may sound like a letdown for a team that had higher hopes back in August. Remember? Almost 40 guys came out for soccer, including the biggest senior turnout in five years, and promisingly outscored their first three opponents 18-0. Would this be the first group in years to challenge for the conference title and finish with a winning record?

But the last three weeks of September did the Eagles in conference-wise as they went 1-4 in the South Central. They rallied to win the last three but their 4-4 record couldn’t beat Crossroads’ 7-1 or Hancock’s 6-2.

Nor would Brentwood end the regular season with more wins than losses. They were 9-8 early last week but lost the last three games. They can still even it out but must win this week’s Class 1 District 2 playoffs to do so. If they can get by Crossroads at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, they’ll probably face Principia in the championship.

Eddie Wright outpositions his Liberty opponent for a header in the first half.
Eddie Wright (left) fights a Liberty player for a header.

Tough schedule, close games

Of course, records can be misleading. Valley Park is 10-9 but has lost to BHS twice. The Eagles have simply played a tougher schedule. Nine of their 11 losses have been to Class 2 or Class 3 schools. They’ve lost to only one fellow Class 1 team (Crossroads, twice).

And Brentwood has never been blown out. In fact, they’ve outscored their opponents 37-25. They lost 3-0 to Windsor and to Liberty, both Class 3, but all nine of their remaining defeats were by one or two goals.

Said senior Alex Smoller, “We played a lot of tough teams and all of them were close games.”

“Some of the schools are so big compared to Brentwood,” said head coach Cory Grage.

But he knows the experience against bigger schools might help the Eagles this week in the district playoffs, where all the competition is Class 1. They face Crossroads after having played 15-7-1 Liberty and 11-8 Windsor.

“These are two of the three or four strongest teams we’ve seen all season,” said Grage.

Alex Smoller (11) duals Tyler Reed of Windsor-Imperial on Friday in Brentwood.
Alex Smoller (11) duals Tyler Reed of Windsor-Imperial on Friday in Brentwood.
Brentwood coach Cory Grage talks to his players at halftime of the Liberty game.
Brentwood coach Cory Grage talks to his players at halftime of the Liberty game.

Finally beating Bayless

The most memorable game of the season for at least several Eagles was the 1-0 victory at Bayless, the first time they’ve topped the Broncos in at least four years. With 15 seconds left, Seamus Saunders fired a pass across the middle and Joey Dreyer stabbed it in with a header.

“I threw the ball in from a little bit outside of the box,” said Saunders. “It bounced back at me and I looked at the clock and there were about 20 seconds left so I didn’t have any time to dribble. So I kicked it off the bounce, volleyed it in and Joey was there to clean it off and head it in.”

Said Dreyer, “Seamus floated it in and it was a perfect cross, it was right to me and I was just there and I headed it into the bottom left corner of the net. It barely beat the keeper.”

Said Saunders, “Everyone was going crazy. It was awesome. We’ve always lost to Bayless.”

Said Dreyer, a senior playing in his first high school season, “It was an amazing feeling. It was the best night of my life.”

Three nights later at McCluer, Quinn Evans received a diagonal pass and scored with 16 seconds left for a 1-0 victory.

Seamus Saunders heads a ball in the first half of the Liberty game.
Seamus Saunders heads a ball in the first half of the Liberty game.
Joey Dreyer dribbles against Windsor.
Joey Dreyer dribbles against Windsor.

11 honored at senior night

Eleven seniors were recognized at halftime of the Oct. 16 Windsor game, the final home game of their high school careers.

“It’s tough to realize,” said senior Eddie Wright. “There are a lot of great memories. It’s the last time being on this field in front of the home crowd.”

Said senior Marcos Sanchez, “It hit me in the second half, the first 20 minutes, when we were fired up. When we played those 20 minutes good, that’s when it hit.”

Wright hopes he finds his scoring touch Wednesday against Crossroads. He scored 10 goals in Brentwood’s first seven games but hasn’t found the net since Sept. 22.

“It’s kind of frustrating, I’m going through a dry spell right now,” he said. “I’ve got to find that touch again. I’ve got to bring my A game against Crossroads.”

Brentwood soccer's biggest senior class since 2010 is (from left)
Brentwood soccer’s biggest senior class in five years is (from left) Alex Smoller, Marcos Sanchez, Justin Redfering, Joey Dreyer, Mitch Bender, Eddie Wright (front), Seamus Saunders, Mike Mills, Alex Riedel, Noah Lee and Eli Wouters.
Senior Mitch Bender and his parents Bonita and Richard.
Senior Mitch Bender and his parents Bonita and Richard.
Senior Joey Dreyer and his parents Karen and Karl.
Senior Joey Dreyer and his parents Karen and Karl.
Senior Noah Lee and his parents Denise and Sherman.
Senior Noah Lee and his parents Denise and Sherman.
Senior Mike Mills and his mother Lyn.
Senior Mike Mills and his mother Lyn.
Senior Justin Redfering and his parents Becky and Chris.
Senior Justin Redfering and his parents Becky and Chris.
Senior Alex Riedel and his parents Me'Shel and Jeff.
Senior Alex Riedel and his parents Me’Shel and Jeff.
Marcos Sanchez and his mother Marchelle and brother.
Senior Marcos Sanchez and his mother Marchelle and brother.
Senior Seamus Saunders and his parents Maureen and Matt.
Senior Seamus Saunders and his parents Maureen and Matt.
Senior Alex Smoller and his parents Kellie and Aaron.
Senior Alex Smoller and his parents Kellie and Aaron.
Senior Eli Wouters and his parents Beth and Scott.
Senior Eli Wouters and his parents Beth and Scott.
Senior Eddie Wright and his parents Joanne Sivier and Ed Wright.
Senior Eddie Wright and his parents Joanne Sivier and Ed Wright.

Final Standings, South Central AA Conference
Crossroads 7-1 league, 12-4 overall
Hancock 6-2, 13-9
Brentwood 4-4, 9-11
Bayless 2-6, 4-16
Valley Park 1-7, 10-9

Sean Reilly in the Liberty game.
Sean Reilly makes contact in front of Liberty’s James Boyd.

Class 1, District 2 playoffs seeding
1. Principia
2. Crossroads
3. Brentwood
4. Valley Park

District playoffs at Principia
Oct. 21, 4 p.m., Brentwood vs. Crossroads
Oct. 21, 4:30 p.m., Principia vs. Valley Park
Oct. 22, 4:30 p.m., championship game

Mahoto Sasaki tries to penetrate the Liberty defense in the first half.
Mahoto Sasaki tries to penetrate the Liberty defense in the first half.

BHS final game results, regular season
Record: 9-11
Aug. 25: beat Metro 6-0
Goals: Eddie Wright 2, Quinn Evans, Marcos Sanchez, Joey Dreyer, Aro Ntatin
Assists: Mahoto Sasaki 2, Wright
Saves: Justin Redfering 2, Jordan McGehee
Aug. 26: beat O’Fallon Christian 5-0
Goals: Wright 4, Sasaki
Assists: Seamus Saunders 2, Evans, Chrishawn Houston.
Saves: McGehee 3, Redfering 2
Sept. 1: beat Hazelwood East 7-0
Goals: Neal Bhattacharya 2, Evans, Houston, M. Sanchez, Sasaki, Wright
Assists: Wright 2, M. Sanchez, Sasaki
Sept. 4: lost to DeSoto 1-0
Sept. 8: lost to Bayless 2-1 in 2 OT’s
Sept. 10: beat Gateway Science Academy 3-0
Goals: Bhattacharya, Ntatin, Wright
Assists: Bhattacharya
Saves: McGehee 6, Redfering 3
Sept. 14: lost to St. Pius X-Festus 2-1 in OT
Goals: Ntatin
Assists: Saunders
Saves: McGehee 13
Sept. 15: lost to Principia 2-0
Saves: McGehee 14
Sept. 18: lost to Hancock 3-2
Goals: Ntatin, Cristian Sanchez
Assists: Alex Smoller, C. Sanchez
Sept. 22: beat Valley Park 6-2
Goals: Sasaki 2, Wright, M. Sanchez, Mike Mills, Dreyer
Saves: McGehee 5, Sean Reilly 2
Sept. 24: lost to Crossroads 2-1
Sept. 28: lost to Clayton 1-0
Sept. 29: lost to Crossroads 2-0
Oct. 2: beat Bayless 1-0
Goal: Dreyer
Assist: Saunders
Saves: McGehee 6
Oct. 5: beat McCluer 1-0
Goal: Evans
Assist: M. Sanchez
Saves: Redfering 4, McGehee 4
Oct. 6: beat Hancock 2-1
Goals: Bhattacharya, Ntatin
Assists: Mills 2
Save: Redfering 8, McGehee 5
Oct. 9: beat Valley Park 1-0
Goal: Evans
Assist: Ntatin
Oct. 14: lost to JFK 1-0
Oct. 15: lost to Liberty-Wentzville 3-0
Saves: Redfering
Oct. 16: lost to Windsor-Imperial 3-0
Saves: Redfering

More photos from 1st half of Liberty-Wentzville game

Jake Burkhardt (right) guards Liberty's James Boyd.
Jake Burkhardt (right) guards Liberty’s James Boyd.
Marcos Sanchez kicks the ball in front of teammate Mahoto Sasaki
Marcos Sanchez kicks the ball in front of teammate Mahoto Sasaki.
In this photo and the one below, Justin Redfering stops a shot from Liberty's Riley Stevenson.
In this photo and the one below, Justin Redfering stops a shot from Liberty’s Riley Stevenson.

DSC_2726 Justin Redferring 1st

Quinn Evans (left) battles Liberty's Collin Page for the ball in the first half.
Quinn Evans (left) battles Liberty’s Collin Page for the ball.
In this photo and the one below, Seamus Saunders strips the ball from Liberty's Jake Perryman.
In this photo and the one below, Seamus Saunders strips the ball from Liberty’s Jake Perryman.

DSC_2762 Seamus Saunders 1st

Cristian Sanchez (right) stays on the ball.
Cristian Sanchez (right) stays on the ball.
Alex Smoller passes the ball.
Alex Smoller passes the ball in front of Liberty’s Cameron Tabers.
Quinn Evans tries to get ahead of a Liberty defender.
Quinn Evans tries to get ahead of a Liberty defender.
Marcos Sanchez (right) battles Liberty's Jake Anderson.
Marcos Sanchez (right) battles Liberty’s Jake Anderson.
Jake Burkhardt (left) is closely guarded by Liberty's Jim Smith.
Jake Burkhardt (left) is closely guarded by Liberty’s Tyler Murphy.
Mahoto Sasaki (left) tries to get free from Liberty's Jim Smith.
Mahoto Sasaki (left) tries to get free from Liberty’s Tommy Bindbeutel.
Joey Dreyer drives down the right sideline.
Joey Dreyer drives down the right sideline.
Marcos Sanchez leaps to intercept a pass to a Liberty player.
Marcos Sanchez leaps to intercept a pass to a Liberty player.
Cristian Sanchez gets ahead of a Liberty player.
Cristian Sanchez gets ahead of a Liberty player.
Aro Ntatin rests during halftime.
Aro Ntatin rests during halftime.
Assistant coach Rob Doebber speaks to the team at halftime.
Assistant coach Rob Doebber speaks to the team at halftime.

More photos from Windsor game

Neal Bhattacharya takes a shot at the goal during the pregame warmup.
Neal Bhattacharya takes a shot at the goal during the pregame warmup.
Aro Ntatin (right) goes against Windsor's Drew Tayon.
Aro Ntatin (right) goes against Windsor’s Drew Tayon in the first half.
Chrishawn Houston controls the ball in front of two Windsor players.
Chrishawn Houston controls the ball in front of two Windsor players in the second half.
Mike Mills leaps to stop Windsor's Drew Tayon from heading a ball into Brentwood's net and goalkeeper Justin Redfering catches it.
Mike Mills leaps to stop Windsor’s Drew Tayon from heading a ball into Brentwood’s net and goalkeeper Justin Redfering catches it in the first half.
Noah Lee and a Windsor player kick the ball at the same time.
Noah Lee and a Windsor player kick the ball at the same time in the first half.
Quinn Evans (right) spars with Michael Brunner.
Quinn Evans (right) spars with Michael Brunner in the first half.
Alex Riedel (right) goes against Windsor's Tyler Kraft.
Alex Riedel (right) goes against Windsor’s Tyler Kraft in the first half.
Marcos Sanchez heads a ball.
Marcos Sanchez heads a ball in the first half.
Eddie Wright heads up the left sideline.
Eddie Wright heads up the left sideline in the first half.
Neal Bhattacharya outruns Jim smith.
Neal Bhattacharya dribbles past Windsor’s Tyler Kraft in the first half.
Sean Reilly (right) strips Jim smith of the ball.
Sean Reilly (right) strips the ball from Windsor’s Bryan Neff in the first half.
Aro Ntatin dribbles against Windsor's Michael Brunner.
Aro Ntatin dribbles against Windsor’s Michael Brunner in the second half.
Mahoto Sasaki battles with Windsor's Jim Smith.
In this photo and the one below, Mahoto Sasaki (above right) works the ball against Windsor’s Cole Stelling.

DSC_3213 Mahoto Sasaki 2nd

Mike Mills chases the ball in the second half.
Mike Mills chases the ball in the second half.
Sean Reilly (right) races against a Windsor player.
Sean Reilly (right) races Windsor’s Cesar Bello to the ball in the first half.
Quinn Evans eyes a bouncing ball.
Quinn Evans eyes a bouncing ball in the first half.

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