Bobcats bow out of district tourney

MCBAIN — The Brethren girls soccer team began the week with a convincing win over McBain Northern Michigan Christian to close the regular season, but the Comets returned the favor Thursday to end the Bobcats’ season.

Fresh off a 4-0 victory just three nights earlier, Brethren couldn’t sustain the momentum fell 3-0 on the road to McBain NMC in a Division 4 district quarterfinal.

“McBain did what they needed to do,” said Bobcats coach Krystal Magee. “When we beat them 4-0 on Monday, I kind of warned the girls: this is either going to work to our advantage and they’ll come into tonight discouraged, or it would light a fire in their bellies and they’ll come out stronger, and that’s exactly what McBain did tonight.

“They were definitely more aggressive to the ball, getting those first touches and creating more offensive opportunities than they did the last time we saw them.”

The teams — who also battled each other to a 0-0 tie on May 15 in Brethren — went scoreless for the game’s first 35 minutes before McBain netted a goal with five minutes remaining before halftime.

The Bobcats were within striking distance much of the second half as well, but the Comets made it 2-0 with 13 minutes remaining and then 3-0 with two minutes left in the game.

“Our communication was a little off tonight,” Magee said. “There was some confusion a few times over where players needed to be, and our passes weren’t as sharp as they have been recently.

“I think those two things definitely didn’t help us from an offensive standpoint tonight. … We did have some shots on goal, but not nearly as many as we did the last time. And unfortunately the shots that we did have didn’t go in.”

While the loss stings, Magee said she’s proud of her team’s effort and improvement throughout the season.

“Their growth and their knowledge of soccer has expanded exponentially from when the season started,” she said. “They work so hard to do their best every single game. Even when they’re down, they don’t give up. It was a tough loss to swallow tonight, but looking back on the season, I couldn’t be more proud to be the coach of these girls.”

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