WICHITA — The Berean Academy boys’ soccer team won a battle of attrition over Wichita Independent 6-1 Thursday at Panther Field in Wichita.
Tied 1-1 at the half, the Warriors finished on five goals. Independent had just two subs dressed for the game, falling to 0-3.
Independent’s woes were exacerbated with 95 degree temperatures at game time.
“It was a little unfortunate for them. They were low on numbers,” Berean coach Russ Busenitz said. “They could only bring two off the bench. With this heat on the (artificial) turf, it’s going to take its toll. We were able to wear them down and get some good chances — and finish them, which we needed to improve at.”
Berean is coming off an 8-9-1 campaign from last year, falling in the regional finals to eventual Class 4-3-2-1A runners-up Buhler 3-0.
Berean was a little more physical than Independent.
“Even in soccer, physical play makes a difference,” Russ Busenitz said. “Being strong over the ball. Toughness does matter out there. I think we showed it with our back four. We developed that a little more.”
A.J. Templin broke the tie 26 seconds into the second half, powering in a shot at point-blank range. Keaton Leinbach followed with a penalty kick in the 56th minute.
Chase Wiebe put the game away with a brace 118 seconds apart in the 64th and 66th minutes. The second was a rebound of his own shot set up by a Jon Hoover corner kick.
“The first half, we didn’t have a lot of energy. We didn’t have a lot of talk,” Wiebe said. “The second half, we came out with a lot more energy. We talked more. We strung passes together. We got a couple of goals. I’d like to make it to state and see what we can do there. We need to pass it well. We’re going to have to play well to do it. We’re getting a lot of help from freshmen. Braeden Templin helped a lot. A.J. Templin stepped up. Alex Peterjohn stepped up. This is his first year in soccer. That’s a big help.”
A Micah Busenitz penalty kick in the 77th minute capped the scoring.
Berean scored on its second shot of the game, a header by Braeden Templin off a long throw in by Noah Ruiz in the 16th minute.
Independent equalized on a Jonah Bolin penalty kick.
Berean held a 5-3 advantage in total shots in the first half and held a slight possession edge.
Zac Koontz finished the game with three saves. Tanner Bailey had 10 saves for Independent.
Berean, 2-1, plays at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against rival Elyria Christian-Hutchinson Central Christian. Elyria Christian restarted its program after several years.
“It’s good to have them back on our schedule,” Russ Busenitz said. “Then we have a couple of matches the following week with Trinity Academy and Rose Hill, and those will be super good tests for us.”
1. BA Braedon Templin (Noah Ruiz Espaza) 15:30
2. WI Jonah Bolin (penalty kick) 35:53
3. BA A.J. Templin (unassisted) 40:34
4. BA Keaton Leinbach (penalty kick) 55:38
5. BA Chase Wiebe (n/a) 63:35
6. BA C.Wiebe (unassisted) 65:33
7. BA Micah Busenitz (penalty kick) 76:18
Total shots — BA 5-14—19, WI 3-2—5. Shots on goal — BA 3-13—16, WI 2-2—4. Saves — BA: Zac Koontz (W) 1-2—3. WI: Tanner Bailey (L) 2-8—10. Corner kicks — BA 7, WI 3. Fouls — BA 5, WI 3. Offside — BA 0, WI 1. Cautions — none.