By Ernest Stone
University High School and Branson of Ross’ boys soccer match was 80 minutes of pure adrenaline.
Both teams ran until their legs gave out and contested every ball as if their lives depended on it.
Yet, neither team scored, and the two teams ended Monday night’s non-league contest at Crocker Amazon Playground with a 0-0 draw.
“We did well on clearances, but we let them have way too many looks,” said University head coach Deejae Johnson. “I guess one could just say that we are fortunate that Branson couldn’t finish the opportunities.”
Branson’s (5-7-3, 1-5-2) inability to score did anything but discourage the team, and the Bulls finished the game outshooting the Red Devils 13-5.
The offensive statistics, impressive as they were for Branson, may be misleading. Both teams played the majority of the game contesting possession in the midfield and it wasn’t until Branson’s desperate push toward the end of the match that either team seemed to dominate the other.
As prominent as pace was for the Bulls’ offense, mistakes were prevalent for the Red Devils (5-7-4, 3-0-1) midfield.
“We were frustrated and we gave the ball away because of it,” said University freshman Wyatt Kim. “They had the adrenaline and we weren’t able to match it.”
Branson looks forward to the rest of its season, a content and consistent soccer team.
“It is hard to be much prouder of my guys,” said Branson head coach Tom Ryan. “For once I feel that our team played a full, consistent 80 minutes.”
University, a team more disappointed in its result than anything else, will look to come out on top rather than even when they continue Bay Counties League West play on Wednesday against undefeated Marin Academy.
“At the end of the day Branson is a good team,” Johnson said. “It is important my players realize that, and understand that the fact we played like we did but ended in a draw can be a good thing.”