TAMPA — Brandon’s boys soccer team has been on quite a tear through the first half of the season. Entering Thursday’s game at King, the Eagles were carrying an undefeated streak with a solid defense that had held opponents to five goals through the first seven matches.
Against the Lions, the Brandon defense was again stifling, holding King off the board. However, for the first time this season the Lions returned the favor, playing Brandon to a 0-0 draw.
Brandon (7-0-1) was aggressive early, taking the ball into the 18-yard box before trying to set up scoring chances, while King (7-3-4) tried to set up long chances with crosses to streaking players.
Both defenses were up to the challenge, as scoring threats were kept to a minimum through the opening half.
The second half saw sparks of offense from both sides. King defender Alexis Quezada made two strong challenges on streaking, Brandon forwards turning them away.
“We were able to come back and defend, and we knew we would have to clear it out on every chance,” Quezada said. “We were able to stay organized, we had some chances late, but I’m pretty happy we came away with (a draw).”
Both keepers had strong showings, as King junior Nate Johnson and Brandon senior Randy Chesson each had six saves. Chesson played an aggressive game, often coming off the line to challenge King scorers before they could make a real attempt on goal. However, he wasn’t the only Chesson to make his presence known, as his younger brother Ryan stepped up with two defensive plays, falling behind Randy when the keeper was charging at forwards.
“When I see him coming out I always know I’m going to go back and cover for him,” Ryan, a junior said of his brother. “It’s kind of a natural thing for us.”