On a beautiful night for us to celebrate our “Senior Night” for the 17 seniors (and their parents too!) we took on the Buffalo Grove Bison, the MSL East Division leaders. Buffalo Grove entered the game on an 11 game win streak, highlighted by allowing just three goals against in those matches. That’s a great defensive run for their squad and much credit goes to their team. The Bison, while leading the tight MSL East division, are just three points ahead of the Wheeling Wildcats though, and in order to clinch the east title they need at least three points from their final two MSL games. Tonight was a big opportunity for them, as a win here would win them the east championship crown.
With the MSL West title already decided for the Broncos, and as it was our “Senior Night,” Coach Steib was able to start every one of the 11 varsity seniors. It was so great to see all of them on the field for player introductions, the national anthem and the start of the contest. They all played well and made themselves and our program proud! Well done boys. Once the substitutions started, the level of effort and play stayed high, and we were enjoying almost every aspect of the evening.
In the 31st minute, at the end of a marauding run into the box by Omkar Prahavalkar, he was rewarded as he was played into the BG box by Gio Guarnero, with only the goalkeeper to beat. Omkar tucked the ball inside the post and gave our team the 1-0 lead. (The goal was Omkar’s third goal in the last three matches… well done Omkar!)
Soon after, halftime came and we discussed the tactics we wanted to employ in the second half, but despite our best efforts during the start of the second half, the Bison were able to draw even in the 50th minute.
In the 56th minute, after a collision with the BG goalkeeper, one of our players was shown two yellow cards and dismissed from the match, leaving us a player short for the remainder of the game.
Our boys stepped right up and despite being down a man, played spirited and skillfully. We created a few near chances, but could not break the tie. The effort and energy was high, and had you not seen the red card, you may not have known that our boys played a man short for those 44 minutes (24 in regulation and an additional 20 more in the two overtime periods.) A hearty “Well done!” goes out to each of our players tonight, as all 17 of our outfield players and two of our three goalkeepers all played at least one quarter of the game, and all played well.
There were many lessons for us to take from tonight, both in regard to the play and also to the need for us to just play the game and not allow the other factors to affect us so much. Still, overall we could not be prouder of this senior class and this team. Even with some hard decisions going against us, and attempts by others to aggravate and frustrate us, we did a great job of staying focused and not getting into the nonsense. As usual, well done.
Next up: This Friday afternoon at 4:45pm we travel to Conant to wrap up the MSL regular season. We hope to see you there!
GO BRONCOS! YNWA!
BHS – Omkar Prabhavalkar (Gio Guarnero) — 31st minute
BGHS – 50th minute
Fouls: BHS 16, BGHS 14
Corner kicks: BHS 4, BGHS 4
Offsides: BHS 0, BGHS 1