The Santa Clara Bruins soccer game Monday night was as entertaining as anyone could ask for. Santa Clara and Aragon exchanged goals and trash talk all night long in a thrilling back-and-forth battle. The final goal was scored in the final minute of stoppage time — a hat-trick goal for Bruins senior Axel Grespan.
It was an awesome game, however, how did the Bruins coach feel about the lack of defense from his guys?
“I got even more gray hairs tonight,” joked Bruins Head Coach Dan Sequeira. “It was a very stressful game, trying to manage people, the penalties and everything, we got lucky we got the tie.”
Santa Clara came out on fire, scoring two quick goals within the first five minutes of the game, literally in back-to-back sequences. Matias Hnizdo found the back of the net in the fourth minute and Grespan followed with his first of the game in the fifth minute on a nice feed from captain Zaid Ansari.
Aragon would answer back with goals in the seventh and 10th minutes, leaving their keeper out to dry on breakaways.
The Bruins would regain the lead on a goal from Noel Jauregui in the 20th minute, but then gave up the lead in the 26th minute.
In the 38th minute, Grespan would give the Bruins the lead yet again with his second of the night on a rebound of a shot from Praneel Singla.
The Dons would tie things back up at 4-4 with a rocket of a shot from 22 yards out early in the second half.
The final 40 minutes saw both teams get a bit testy as the trash talk between the two sides reached a boiling point. Both sides also felt as if they were getting the short end of the stick as far as the officiating. Eventually all three referees had to break up a shoving match at midfield. Somehow, the only red card of the game came when a Bruins defender took down an Aragon forward on a breakaway with a slide tackle from behind.
The Dons would score off the ensuing set piece in the 80th minute, taking their first lead of the game at 5-4.
Four minutes later the Bruins found themselves a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box close to the sideline. The cross-shot into the box was initially saved, but then Grespan knocked in the rebound with his left-foot, for what was, essentially, a buzzer-beating goal.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” chimed Grespan on his clutch tying goal. “It was intense until the very end, we played through it and got the tie.”
Obviously pleased with the last second goal to salvage a tie, the Bruins squad knows they have a lot to clean up.
“On the defensive side it was not a game to remember for us,” acknowledged Ansari. “Right from the beginning we were hungry to score goals, but I guess we forgot about the defensive aspect.”
The Bruins will look to shape up their back end in their next game on Thursday, Dec. 12 against Gunn.