BHS upset after fantastic finish in Round of 16

After upsetting top-seed Shorewood, Auburn Mountainview looked to ride its momentum against Bainbridge in the quarterfinals of the state tournament May 18.

The Lions kept their season alive by stunning the Spartans 3-2.

Bainbridge, ranked third, finished its season with an 18-4 record. The winners were not even ranked in the top 12.

BHS advanced to the game by beating Mount Vernon 3-2 May 16, also at Shoreline Stadium.

Junior midfielder Finn Reynolds headed in the winning goal just before the final horn

“It was amazing…the best feeling ever,” he said after BHS won its 12th-straight game.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game when Esai Ruiz-Lozano scored a breakaway goal.

Senior midfielder Chris Fowler tied it up for BHS from 12 yards out as he was surrounded by players but somehow hit the back of the net at the 11:30 mark.

MV took back the lead at the 4:50 mark on a goal by Aaron Dias.

A cross from the left side was headed in at the far post by Spartan Abe O’Connell to knot it up 2-2 at intermission.

As the score indicates, the teams battled evenly in the first half. But in the second, BHS dominated getting shot after shot but none went in until Reynolds’ heroics at the end.

After a yellow card for a penalty on MV, the Spartans got a free kick. It was launched high in the air right in front of the goal. Spartans Cruz Piland and Hudson Reynolds were right there, too, in a bull rush, but being the tallest, Reynolds was the one to get his head on the ball.

MV quickly made one more run before the end with its own power rush to the goal, but its shot went wide.

“My heart almost stopped,” BHS coach Drew Keller said.

Finn Reynolds almost scored two other goals in the second half. On a cross from senior forward Hudson Reynolds, Finn jumped high in the air and almost kicked it in. On the other, he controlled the ball with his foot then shot it hard to the net in the following motion. It hit the upper corner of the net, just on the wrong side of the goal.

“I knew if I kept shooting one would go in,” he said.

Sophomore forward Piland showed exceptional ball-handling skills in the middle of the field, and had shot after shot, but none hit the net. He almost scored in the first minute of the game, but MV goalie Ferny Ramirez-Garduno made a great save. Another shot hit the crossbar. After Hudson Reynolds missed a 30-yard free kick wide right BHS made another run, but the Bulldog goalie again thwarted that effort.

Spartan goalie Bobby Coulter went out of the box to track down a ball near the sideline, but found himself way out of position so had to hurry back as MV stole the ball. The BHS defense was able to stymie that threat. Howard Howlett IV just missed a steal that would have put him one-on-one against the MV goalie. The Bulldogs responded with a bicycle kick that sailed over the goal.

O’Connell crossed to Piland who again was off the mark, as was Finn Reynolds’ shot that was deflected by the MV goalie. Sophomore Jacob Jimenez crossed to Piland, but his header was high and to the right.

In the second half, Jimenez almost scored at the 36-minute mark but the MV goalie again made the save. Two minutes later Fowler stole the ball but his shot was wide right. BHS averted disaster when Hudson Reynolds kicked the ball back to his goalie a little too hard but Harrington fell on the ball. Piland had another good shot but it was deflected by the goalie. Coulter then came up with two saves of his own on a free kick and breakaway. Piland had another shot attempt but it was wide left.

At the 20:30 mark, Coulter made another diving save. Hudson Reynolds passed to Howlett for another shot, but Ramirez-Garduno came up with another great save. The physical game became even more so with 13 minutes left with the first yellow card after a fight almost broke out, but cooler heads prevailed. With eight minutes left O’Connell was pushed to the ground in the penalty box, and the no call was jeered by BHS fans.

Piland had two more shots in the final minutes. On the first, he couldn’t get his foot on a great cross. The second was a through ball, and his shot went wide left.

Keller said he knew it would be a good game going in because watching film they play similar styles. He said it would be easy to credit the attacking players for the win, but the defense also came up big. So many players came through and that “tells the story of this team all season,” he said, praising the squad’s depth.

He did say Finn McCallum was all over the field, and the defense doesn’t play “with a lot of flash, but they play hard.”

After dominating the second half, Keller said he was ecstatic to get that last goal. “We deserved it,” he said of the win.

MV ended its season 13-4-3 and ranked eighth. Going into the game, it had given up just 17 goals while scoring 55. BHS had scored 104 and given up 18.

Freshman forward Howard Howlett IV (7) goes for a steal against MV.

Freshman forward Howard Howlett IV (7) goes for a steal against MV.

Finn Reynolds (11) proudly stands next to the BHS bench as his teammates celebrate the win.

Finn Reynolds (11) proudly stands next to the BHS bench as his teammates celebrate the win.

Cruz Piland (9) takes a shot at the goal early in the contest for the Spartans.

Cruz Piland (9) takes a shot at the goal early in the contest for the Spartans.