BSHS dominates North; coach seeking new ID for squad in '11 season

September 8, 2011

The 2010 boys soccer season was mighty magnificent for Bonner Springs High School as the Braves posted a 15-3-3 record and placed fourth at the Class 4-1A state tournament.

BSHS coach Mike Moulin hopes 2011 is equally grand — if not better — but Moulin also hopes the season will have its own identity, rather than trying to take on a mirror image of 2010.

Some of the personnel are the same, but there are enough new faces and enough holes to fill that Moulin already sees the 2011 squad taking its own path.

“The good thing about this year is we have so many players on that bench that are at that caliber compared to last year,” Moulin said of his team’s talent level. “Last year if we subbed one or two guys in, we were kind of hurting. This year the caliber of players … all 22 guys on the roster could easily come out here and step up and play that role. It’s going to be interesting, and I’m excited.

“I want it to be a different season, not the same season.”

The Braves’ different dynamic has been evident during early contests against Tonganoxie and Lawrence Free State, and it was on display again Tuesday night at David Jaynes Stadium, where the Braves struggled at times before squeaking past Shawnee Mission North, 1-0.

Injuries have plagued the Braves early this season, mostly on the offensive end. At the same time, they’ve tried to plug in a mostly new defensive lineup. Some of those challenges were magnified as North tested Bonner Springs at both ends of the field.

“We lost a lot (of talent) last year, so we’re trying to work out different positions and different areas and find out who’s going to step up and who’s not,” Moulin said.

The Braves had the upper hand throughout the first half Tuesday. North created three good scoring opportunities that were thwarted by BSHS keeper Brett Steuart. Other than that, the Braves were in control.

Shawn Jones had a takeaway in North’s defensive end, but his one-on- one shot was stopped in the sixth minute. Moments later, Spencer Bush put a shot on target from close range. Toby Sullivan placed a shot on goal in the 10th minute, and Jones sent a shot over the crossbar in the 13th minute.

Bonner Springs continued to pepper shots at the North goal, but the Braves were unable to put a ball past Indians keeper Jaden Taylor, and the game remained scoreless at halftime.

The Braves were knocked on their heels early in the second half, as North used its speedy forward combination of Tony Pereira, Romeo Munoz, Cesar Moreno and Eber Corral to create numerous dangerous situations. Steuart was called into action numerous times to stop shots, and defenders Nate Mitchell, Austin Schuler and Aaron Rudolph thwarted additional threats.

“The first 15 minutes (of the second half) we kept playing on our third of the field,” Moulin said. “But after a while, we started solidifying the middle a bit. Our midfielders started stepping up and once we started pushing the ball outside, we started putting them on their heels — and that’s what’s important.”

The Braves had a series of near-misses, and finally Jones found the net in the 68th minute, when he received the ball near the top of the box, wheeled and unleashed a low, line-drive shot just inside the left post for a 1-0 lead.

North tried to rally late. The Indians fired four shots during the final 10 minutes, but two sailed wide and Steuart snagged the others.

Bonner Springs (2-1) next plays at 6:30 p.m. today at Bishop Miege. The Braves then play host to Mill Valley at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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