Eagles defending 4th league title in 6 years
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Brentwood High School’s freshman girls made a big impact on the varsity volleyball and basketball teams this year. Though ninth graders seldom get much playing time in those sports at BHS, three of them did in volleyball and two in basketball.
And now it appears that what the class of 2019 really loves is soccer. Nine of them have come out for the sport and five have already earned starting positions. In the first game, a 4-1 victory over Valley Park on March 24, Elle Curran scored and goalkeeper Logan Darrow made 12 saves. Also in starting positions are their freshman classmates Maggie Callihan, Madelyn Dorenbusch and Meghan Haug.
“There are a lot of them and they’ve played a lot of CYC together,” said 15-year BHS head coach Cory Grage. “I think they won city-county as a group. So they’re not necessarily club players but they played a pretty high level of CYC soccer.”
The freshmen bolster a strong but hungry Brentwood program. Strong because in 2015 they won 10 of 15 games and were conference champs for the fourth time in six years. Hungry because they haven’t won the post-season district tournament in more than five years. Last year they were expected to reach the district title game but were upset 6-1 by Maplewood-Richmond Heights in the semifinals.
The Eagles’ most experienced position is forward, where Abby Harper and Kate Gilmore return to make their mark, this time as seniors. Harper sent a message by scoring two goals in the opener. Gilmore is a natural leader.
Behind the forwards are two young but dangerous midfielders. Center mid Amanda Ingersoll was one of the team’s top scorers last year as a freshman. In a game with Hancock she got three goals in one half of play. Freshman Elle Curran scored in her first varsity game. She’s on the left side and left-footed, something defenders don’t see often.
“It’s nice having a true left-footed player,” said Grage.
Returning to play right midfield is junior Mishal Azeem. Freshman Madelyn Dorenbusch joins Ingersoll in the middle.
“Maddy is just a fantastic athlete so she’s great at center midfield,” said Grage.
Of the five players on Brentwood’s defense, only two were starters last year: senior Torri Brotherton at left defender and junior Aileen Frazier at sweeper. They were key to a team that surrendered more than three goals only twice in 15 games.
Maggie Callihan is in an elite club: a freshman who has started in three sports. Grage talks as if she’ll be at least as good in soccer as she’s been in volleyball and basketball.
“Maggie is going to be a fantastic stopper,” said Grage. “She’s a brick wall and just a smart player.”
Freshman Meghan Haug was sent in to play right defender against Valley Park and quickly earned the starting position.
Yet another freshman, Logan Darrow, is the new goalkeeper. She played the position in CYC.
“She did a fantastic job yesterday against Valley Park,” said Grage. “She was aggressive coming out of the box and just gobbled everything up that came in.”
March 24: 4-1 win over Valley Park (1-1)
Brentwood: Harper, 2 goals, 1 assist; Ingersoll, 1 goal, 1 assist; Curran, 1 goal; Darrow, winning GK, 12 saves. Valley Park: Izzy Iven, 1 goal; Abbie Farless, 1 assist; Alyssa Haines, losing GK, 18 saves. Grage: “They played at a lot higher level than I was expecting. It was good to see the way they moved the ball. We’ve got some simple things to work out but I’m excited.”
Brentwood’s 2016 record: 1-0
March 24: 4-1 win at Valley Park
March 29: host Lift for Life, 4 p.m.
March 31: at Confluence, 4 p.m.
April 1: host Orchard Farm, 4:30 p.m.
April 4: at Bayless, 4 p.m.
April 6: vs. Metro at Gateway Middle School, 4 p.m.
April 7: vs. Gateway STEM at Midwest Soccer Academy, 4 p.m.
April 11: host Crossroads, 6 p.m.
April 12: at Hancock, 4 p.m.
April 19: host Valley Park, 6 p.m.
April 25: at O’Fallon Christian, 5:30 p.m.
April 26: vs. Crossroads at Midwest Soccer Academy, 4 p.m.
April 28: host Hancock, 6 p.m.
April 29: at McCluer North, 4 p.m.
May 2: host Riverview Gardens, 4:15 p.m.
May 3: host Bayless, 6 p.m.
May 5: at University City, 4 p.m.
May 11: at Hillsboro, 5:30 p.m.
TBA: Class 1 District 2 playoffs vs. Principia, MRH, Valley Park, Cleveland
Brentwood’s final 2015 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
South Central AA Conference
2015 final standings
Valley Park 4-4
BHS 2016 girls soccer roster
Torri Brotherton, left defender
Kate Gilmore, forward
Abby Harper, forward
Mishal Azeem, right midfielder
Aileen Frazier, sweeper
Gabby Gombas, midfielder
Amanda Ingersoll, center midfielder
Maggie Callihan, stopper
Elle Curran, left midfielder
Logan Darrow, goalkeeper
Madelyn Dorenbusch, center midfielder
Meghan Haug, right defender