By Jake Thompson
AVON — Through intermittent rain Monday night, the one constant, besides the water falling from the sky, was the Brownsburg boys’ soccer team’s offense.
The Bulldogs scored three goals in each half, winning 6-0 and knocking county rival Plainfield from postseason play in their largest margin of victory all season.
Despite the conditions and a nearly weeklong layoff before playing this game, Brownsburg competed the way coach Todd Frost had hoped.
“It was good to come out and knock the rust off of it, and these conditions obviously scare me a little bit but we came out and did what we needed to do,” Frost said. “I felt like we got to do what we wanted to do and our goals coming into this match were accomplished.”
Brownsburg’s first shot attempt came within less than a minute into the match as sophomore Michael Young’s header fell into the arms of Plainfield goalkeeper Jeff Todd.
That shot was the first of many for Brownsburg as the Bulldogs pressured Plainfield throughout the half and game, taking 19 shots in total compared to three for the Quakers.
Brownsburg’s first of nine corner kicks came at the 24:40 mark as Geno James lofted the ball in and Neil Kippenbrock’s header sailed just over the crossbar.
The Bulldogs took another corner just over two minutes later and this time James was credited with an assist as Kippenbrock’s header found the back of the net.
James tallied his second assist of the night minutes later as he played a nifty through ball to a sprinting Daniel Johnson whose shot found the back right of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Plainfield tried its best to keep Brownsburg out of its end of the pitch as the first half wound down, but with 31 seconds remaining a Quakers defender was called for a foul in the box.
Brownsburg’s Jack Griffith put the ensuing penalty kick past Todd and the Bulldog’s led 3-0 at the break.
Plainfield coach David Knueve gave his team their halftime instructions and the Quakers came out with renewed energy into the hardest rain of the evening.
“I thought we did some good stuff there in the second half trying to put some pressure on them,” Knueve said. “We pushed Colin (Maple) from our last defender into the midfield and that enabled us to get into the attack a little bit more.”
Plainfield’s Mason Fischer took the Quakers’ first shot of the night from the top of the box just over four minutes into the half, but Brownsburg goalkeeper Patrick Holden was up to the task.
Less than a minute later, the Quakers took their first corner of the game and Plainfield spent a considerable amount of time on Brownsburg’s side of the field for the first 12 minutes.
But Griffith stunted any hope of a comeback and shut down the Quakers’ momentum with his second goal of the night on an unassisted play.
Brownsburg’s Troy Hale then scored the first of his two goals nearly six minutes following Griffith’s, this one also unassisted.
Hale’s second goal came at the 12:29 mark off a corner kick where the ball caromed out to him, before sending his shot home from inside the box.
Plainfield’s rotation of three goalkeepers did the best they could under the constant pressure, combining to make 13 saves on the night.
The Quakers lose four seniors: Maple, Isaac Jones, Alex Dunfee, and Caleb Fouty.
“Those four guys competed, every single day they competed, and I am very proud of them for that,” Knueve said of his seniors.
With the win, Brownsburg advanced to play Avon tonight at approximately 6:45 pm in the semifinal round of sectional play. The Orioles were the last team to defeat the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (12-2-1) a little more than a month ago.
“We are looking forward to the match, we’d like to have a little better result than we had last time and we have all of the respect in the world for Avon,” Frost said. “I’m sure they will come out and play hard and I hope we come out and match that. Whoever wants it more wins it.”