BREMEN — The past few seasons, it seems neither Plymouth nor Bremen can get the better of one another.
Tuesday's game was no exception as the Rockies scored late to force a 3-3 draw after a back-and-forth contest on the Lions' home turf at Bremen.
"This game is turning into a real rivalry," said Plymouth head boys soccer coach Josh Martin. "Coach (Mark) Yoder is really taking this team in a positive direction. These Bremen kids are really athletic; they played really direct. We were playing a flat back four and they were playing a lot of balls over the top of us and tried to use their speed and athleticism.
"I think this is maybe the second or third time we've tied with these guys in the last couple years. It's always a scrap. We rescued the tie, and we're definitely pleased about that. We feel like we're moving in the right direction."
The competitive game featured two ties and three lead changes.
The Lions struck first on an own goal off a Danny Reynoso free kick in the 26th minute, but Plymouth knotted the game up at 1-all with a Daniel Smith score on a Kyle Vanlue assist in the 34th minute. The Rockies went up 2-1 with less than two minutes remaining in the half as Smith struck again on a hard shot from around 25 yards out that snuck past Bremen goalie C.J. Thornton to give the visitors the halftime edge.
But that advantage didn't last long as Reynoso found the back of the net again with a low drive off a Sam Bickel pass in the 41st minute. Ricky Reynoso scored on a Josh Brenneman assist in the 47th minute to give Bremen the lead at 3-2, but the Lions couldn't hold on as Plymouth defender Kyle Barry scored a clean-up goal on an Aaram Kamali shot and Thornton stop in the 70th minute.
"Boy, it's just a back and forth," said Bremen head coach Yoder. "I thought we played really well for 30 minutes of the first half, 25 minutes of the second half. It's just about getting more game fitness and making sure we're mentally strong, making sure we don't break down mentally at the end. I think that's really what the goals were about. I think our defense played well, but I thought we had a few mental lapses and they took advantage, which they should."
Along with the final score, Tuesday's game was also a near statistical dead heat as Both teams recorded two corners, and the Rockies tallied seven shots on goal to Bremen's six.
Danny Reynoso, a mere freshman with the Lions, showed plenty of promise at the wing with his free kick that turned into an own goal for the first score of the night and his game-tying goal in the 41st minute.
"Danny reads the game well. He's the son of our assistant coach," said Yoder. "He knows the game very well, and he's very athletic, which works well for him. He's the type of player that keeps his head about him, plays smart, plays hard, and he's figured out how to play above his grade level."
Plymouth senior striker Smith scored twice to help his team salvage a tie, but the Rockies may have gotten a bit of bad news as he went down late with a possible separated shoulder.
"We've got some guys hurt. Jordan Popi, plays center back for us, he broke his wrist at Warsaw," said Martin. "That's forced us to shuffle some guys around in the back… And now we've got the Smith injury to worry about."
Bremen moved to 2-1-2 with the draw, which snapped a two-game win streak, while Plymouth stopped a two-game skid and moved to 2-2-1 on the year.
• BREMEN 3, PLYMOUTH 3
B — Plymouth own goal (free kick from Danny Reynoso), 26th minute
P — Daniel Smith (Kyle Vanlue), 34th minute
P — Smith, 38th minute
B — Reynoso (Sam Bickel), 41st minute
B — Ricky Reynoso (Josh Brenneman), 47th minute
P — Kyle Barry, 70th minute
Shots on goal: Bremen 6, Plymouth 7
Corners: Bremen 2, Plymouth 2
Saves: C. J. Thornton (Bremen) 4, Charlie Brown (Plymouth) 3
Fouls: Bremen 15, Plymouth 8
Records: Plymouth 2-2-1, Bremen 2-1-2
JV score: Bremen 2, Plymouth 2