Youth no excuse for Bradley-Bourbonnais soccer squad
The Bradley-Bourbonnais Boilermakers entered the soccer season as a relatively young team with a new system to learn. By the end, the group had its hopes set on a post-season run one day.
Only four of the Boilermakers' 23 roster members were seniors; most of the rest were freshmen and sophomores. They struggled at times in South West Suburban Conference play, landing at just 2-3, but that never deterred the young squad, which came out with an impressive 13-5-1 mark overall.
The conference powerhouse Bolingbrook was the squad's first major test — and it aced it.
"Our execution and distribution of the ball, and our pattern of play was to perfection," coach Rohan Robinson said. "Bolingbrook was a big win, and we enjoyed it."
But then Bradley-Bourbonnais hit a slump, losing three in a row, and the season looked like it could go either way. Robinson did his best to keeping the young team focused, he said.
"Play simple and work for each other," he said. "Selling your system and hoping everyone buys in is the key. Once you establish these fundamentals everything else falls in place."
The team quickly turned the tide and went on a seven-game winning streak. Among the team's standouts were senior goalie Morgan Samp (eight shutouts), leading scorer Autumn Hollowell, and top defender Alexis Keener.
But it was a loss, not a win, against Normal Community High School that really stood out to Robinson.
"Even though we lost 2-0, we played a tough team, and we didn't fold," Robinson said. "We shut down their All-State, All-Midwest player, and we made a team with five players heading to Division 1 take notice."
With the season's experience under its belt, the team could be in contention for a first-ever conference title somewhere down the road, Robinson suggested.