Brooke defeats scrappy Wildcats

WELLSBURG – A standout performance ended up overshadowing a dramatic comeback.

Sophomore Jacob Kennedy contributed five goals to lead the host Brooke boys soccer team to a 6-4 victory over resilient Edison Thursday evening.

The Bruins (1-2) led the Wildcats (0-4) 4-0 37 minutes into the game, but Edison rebounded to score four goals in less than 14 minutes of game time between the first and second halves to tie the score at 4-4 with 29:11 left to play.

Edison had the momentum, but in the end the Wildcats ran out of gas as Kennedy ended up netting two goals in the final 7:56 enabling the Bruins to pull out the hard-fought victory.

“He has been playing really well,” Brooke head coach Brian Cerullo said. “We have scored 11 goals this year, and I think he has scored nine of them. His scoring is really helping us out.”

Kennedy’s fourth goal enabled Brooke to regain the lead at 5-4 with 7:56 left to play and he capped the scoring with a goal with just 41 seconds showing on the clock. His fifth goal came as the Wildcats pushed up in hopes of scoring the equalizer.

The Bruins controlled the ball for the majority of the game, but the Wildcats made the most of their chances, especially during their 13:07 run. The Wildcats scored four goals on just five shots on goal.

“We switched some things up in the second half,” Edison head coach Chris Bomely said. “We are very young on defense. We are still learning positions. We stepped up. I’m proud of the guys for the heart they showed to come back from being down 4-0 to tie it.”

Kennedy’s third goal gave Brooke a 4-0 advantage with three minutes left in the first half, and the Bruins appeared to be on their way to a comfortable victory, however, the Wildcats had other plans.

“They got a goal at the end of the first half, and we came out flat to start the second half,” Cerullo said. “We had a 10-minute lapse, and they battled back but we were able to finish it in the end.”

Dalton Minger also recorded a goal for the Bruins.

For the Wildcats, Zac Sansone netted two goals, Cody Kuntupis contributed a goal and two assists and Armando Sinicropi produced one goal and one assist.

“Offensively, we were able to do some things right during the game,” Bomely said. “We won some 50/50 balls.

“I think they are pretty young too. We are going to continue to grow. We are going to keep getting better each game.”

The Bruins controlled the ball from the outset. Brooke applied constant pressure to the Edison defense throughout most of the match.

Kennedy needed less than 10 minutes to score his first goal and to put the Bruins out in front. Kennedy opened the scoring with a goal with 31:01 left to play in the first half giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Brooke increased its lead to 2-0 on a goal by Minger with 22:43 left to play before halftime.

Kennedy delivered two more goals before halftime. His first goal came with 14:16 showing on the scoreboard, and his second game three minutes before halftime.

This time, the Wildcats had an answer.

Sinicropi scored to put Edison on the scoreboard just 22 seconds later as the Wildcats cut their deficit to 4-1 just 2:38 before half.

The visitors maintained their momentum early in the second half. Edison scored three goals in less than four minutes to tie the score.

Kuntupis scored to pull Edison within, 4-2, with 33:03 left to play.

Next, Sansone stole the spotlight as the senior netted two goals in 35 seconds to the tie score. His first goal came with 29:46 showing on the clock, and his second came with 29:11 left to play.

Edison’s surge came as the Wildcats were doing a lot of things well, while the Bruins were struggling in a number of areas.

“It was a little bit of both,” Cerullo said. “They stepped up. We were flat. We were not as intense.”

In the end, the Bruins’ size and conditioning paid off. Brooke was able to make more substitutions, while Edison is straddled with a small bench.

“Our subs stepped up pretty big,” Cerullo said. “We were able to outdistance them in the end.

“I’m not happy about the fact that we gave up too many goals. We are going to work on our defense all year.”

Ty Sicurella tallied three saves for the Bruins. Travis Bell collected 10 saves for the Wildcats.

“We controlled the ball a little bit more tonight than we did against Big Red,” Bomely said. “We were able to score some goals.”

Brooke outshot Edison, 32-9, in the game. The Bruins fired 17 shots on goal, while the Wildcats took seven.

“Teams are putting a lot of pressure on Travis,” Bomely said.

Big Red and Brooke have combined to take 66 shots against Edison in the Wildcats’ last two games. Edison has taken 13, four of which came in a 6-1 loss to Big Red Tuesday at home. The Wildcats allowed 38 shots on goal in the two games, while they took 11 during the two games.

Both teams are scheduled to return to the field Tuesday. Brooke is slated to play Linsly at 5:30 p.m. at home.

“It’s always a good game,” Cerullo said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Edison is scheduled to play at 6 p.m. at St. Clairsville.