BOWLING GREEN — Entering Monday’s District 14 tournament, two of Bowling Green’s three wins thus far have been against the Raiders of Warren East.
That number is now three.
The Purples advanced to the next round of the District 14 tournament, knocking off Warren East 5-0 at Greenwood high school. In those three wins, Bowling Green out scored the Raiders 17 goals to zero.
“We didn’t want to come out and underestimate our opponent so we came out quick and tried to get as many goals as we could,” Alex Yusk said. “It felt good to get out on the pitch and test it out and see what we could do.”
Yusk started the Purples’ onslaught of goals with the opening score during the ninth minute, taking a pass from Anderson Escobar and sending it to the net.
Several minutes later, Bowling Green’s lead grew to 2-0 after Byamungu Amisi headed in a goal thanks to a little assistance from Adiel Valle during the 14th minute. Fast forward 11 minutes and the duo of Brandon McCoy and Naid Gagulic ultimately put the game out of reach with back-to-back goals during the 25th minute.
“It’s nice to win in the regular season, but it’s not nearly as important and significant as winning in the postseason,” Bowling Green coach Scott Gural said after the win. “We know we’ve got our hands full. Warren Central beat us two times and it wasn’t a fluke. They outplayed us. We have to see how much we’ve improved from then to now.”
When Marco Munoz scored during the 52nd minute, it allowed Gural to sub in some of the players on the bench, giving the Purples some extra rest heading into their matchup with Warren Central.
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“If we didn’t get up several goals we were still going to sub because we are not going to sacrifice tomorrow for the sake of tonight,” Gural said.
Bowling Green out shot Warren East 34 to 9. The Raiders’ ended with a 5-11-1 mark and went winless against district opponents.
“We have a bunch of kids with a lot of heart,” Warren East coach Zachary Young said. “Going through this season, it’s been a battle of ups and downs and it is all about the process of growing. I can definitely say that every one of my kids has grown in at least some way.”
With one goal down, the Purples have another goal ahead of them: Knock off Warren Central for a chance to compete for a District 14 crown.
“(Warren Central has) certainly improved, so we’ve got to get better,” Gural said.
One of Gural’s players agrees with that notion.
“We have a lot of respect for Warren Central,” Yusk said. “They are some great guys on that team … They have some great talent too, so it will be a big one.”
Bowling Green and Warren Central will face off at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.