By MADISON BROWDER | Photos by STEVE WHEELER
The Brentwood Lady Bruins and the Independence Lady Eagles were tied at the top of the District 12-AAA standings heading into their matchup at Independence on Thursday night.
By the end of the game, Brentwood became the sole leader with a 3-0 win.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kate Devine was a large reason the Lady Bruins won in such dominating fashion, coming up big in several key scoring opportunities for the Lady Eagles.
“After the Ravenwood game, letting in four goals, I needed a shutout and it felt really good getting that,” Devine said. “I love my back line and trust them a lot. I’m going to miss the seniors back there. I’m excited to be in this position [as a sophomore.]”
Brentwood head coach Kersta Mello reiterated the importance of the defense in the district win.
“Getting our defense and midfielders on the same page and figuring out how to defend a very well-run formation, one we haven’t seen before,” she said. “They have soccer brains and I’m so thankful for that. We are a senior-led back line and they know what to do at this point and how to work together really well, no matter the situation.”
Offensively, the Lady Bruins got it started early when senior midfielder Natasha Kusibab booted the ball in just under the crossbar in the eighth minute.
Sarah Thoeny then put Brentwood up 2-0 in the 15th minute when she found the ball in front of the net and quickly kicked it in to the left side.
Kusibab started the second half with another quick goal when she, yet again, sent the ball sailing over the Independence goalie’s head in the 43rd minute.
Independence was unable to score a goal, but it was not for lack of trying. Devine came up with several key stops, including a late corner kick where she jumped up in a group of Independence players and knock it out of play.
Another key save came when Devine dove for the shot and got a hand on it, sending the ball just wide of the net early in the second half.
The game was physical. The Lady Eagles found themselves with several scoring chances and the
“We know we are in a tough district and we know every game is important,” Independence head coach David Cordero de Jesus said. “There is still a chance [of a district win], but most importantly we have to give ourselves a good seed going into the tournament.”
The Lady Eagles fall to 3-1 in the district and will take on Franklin next Thursday, while the Lady Bruins will look to remain undefeated in district play when they face Centennial.