Soccer’s East Coast swing proves fruitful

Originally published in the September 10, 2010 issue

A trip to the East Coast is all Bradley soccer needed to start this season off on the right foot.

In three games against teams Bradley has never played before, the Braves came away unblemished at 2-0-1.

“I don’t think there are any Division I teams that would play three games in five days on the road,” coach Jim DeRose said.

The first game over the weekend against Saint Peter’s College not only started the season off, but it provided the most drama.

Freshman Wojciech Wojcik scored in the 89th minute to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.

Only 11 seconds later, the Peacocks had a penalty kick against junior goalkeeper Kyle Orne but the keeper denied Saint Peter’s the chance to get a tie.

“The freshmen were into the game at critical times, down a goal or tied, and the goal against Saint Peter’s was a freshman to freshman to freshman combination,” DeRose said. “You hope to keep the level the same when you put freshman in the game but they actually made us a better team and we’re dangerous when they came in.”

Junior Tommy Fritze scored the first goal for the Braves in his return from a knee injury that cut his season short last year.

The second game of the road swing also saw the Braves battle at the end and this time it was to salvage a tie with Fairfield University at 2-2.

Junior Byran Gaul scored a goal and had an assist on sophomore Jochen Graf’s goal that tied the score at two in the 75th minute.

Bradley had the lone shot on goal in the 20 minute overtime period.

The final game of the road trip took the Braves to Delaware to take on the Delaware University Blue Hens.

Freshman Toni Ramadani scored in the 39th minute to start and finish the scoring in the game. Freshman Ross Williams set up the goal with a pass to Ramadani at the top of the penalty box.

Orne secured his first shutout this season and recorded five saves.

“When we got out there it was just play, recover, play, recover, play and come home,” DeRose said. “We were just trying to stay healthy while we were out there.”

This weekend the Braves travel to Evansville to take part in the ProRehab Aces Soccer Classic. They will play East Tennessee State today and Alabama A&M on Sunday.