AMERICAN TOWNSHIP — New Knoxville was about to pull out of sight with a four-goal lead.
But that’s when Temple Christian and Brody Bowman took charge.
Bowman scored a career-high four goals, including the last three of the match, to rally Temple Christian to a 5-5 boys soccer tie with New Knoxville Tuesday at Temple.
The Rangers led 2-1 at the half and pulled out to a 5-1 lead with 31:36 to go.
At that point, the Temple defense steadied and Bowman took over from his center-midfield spot.
Bowman started the game as a center defender, but was moved to the midfield halfway through the first half.
“Brody brings energy everywhere he goes,” Temple Christian acting coach Paul Engle said. “It doesn’t matter where I put him. I know one thing. When I put Brody Bowman anywhere, he’s going to give 100 percent.’’
Engle was filling in for coach B.J. McPheron, whose wife just had a baby.
“I’m used to playing defense, that’s where I’ve played most of my high school career,” Bowman said. “But I’ve always gotten excited when I get a chance to go up front. It’s a more aggressive (approach). Your aim is to go get a goal.’’
Temple is 3-2-2 (1-1-1 Western Ohio Soccer League). New Knoxville is 1-1-2 (1-1-1 WOSL).
“Overall, we could have play better (when we were down 5-1) and we knew that,” Engle said. “We’ll take the tie, especially when we were down 5-1. I’m proud of the boys for rallying back and fighting and not giving up.’’
Bowman added, “We really wanted to get a win and I think we came out a little lackadaisical and once realized we were falling behind and weren’t doing what we were needing to do, I think our leaders, the seniors, said, ‘Don’t give up and pick up your heads.’ ’’
Bowman also had an assist on Jake Holloway’s goal for the Pioneers.
“Bowman is a freakish athlete,” New Knoxville coach Matt Stetler said. “You watch him on the basketball court and the soccer pitch. He knows how to be a leader and he knows what to do with the soccer ball. He exposed our weakness on the back line. It was a lack of marking and communication, which led up to the last four goals for them.’’
New Knoxville’s Joseph Baende had two goals and an assist.
Jose Maria and Ryland Dyrness scored one goal for the Rangers.
New Knoxville outshot Temple 20-14.
Temple freshman goalkeeper Cody Motter had 13 saves.
New Knoxville goalkeeper Josh Dietsch had seven saves.
The Rangers had the corner-kick advantage 8-4.
New Knoxville scored first on an own goal when Zach Davis played the ball into the box and it bounced off a Temple defender and into the net with 20:39 left in the first half.
Bowman tied it at 1 on a shot from 10-yards out off a pass from Josh Engle with 18:48 left in the first half.
Engle is one of four sophomore quadruplets who start for Temple. The others are Joe, Daniel and Michael.
The Rangers took a 2-1 lead into the half when Baende scored off a rebound shot by Davis, which was saved, but not controlled by goalkeeper Mott.
That came with four seconds left before halftime.
Maria, Baende and Dyrness all scored early in the second half to give for the Rangers.
Dyrness’ goal from 25-yards out made it 5-1 with 31:36 to go.
Then, with Bowman and Holloway hovering around the left goal post, Bowman slipped the ball to Holloway, who used the back of his heel to deflect the ball perfectly past the goalkeeper and into the net.
“That was a sweet goal,” Bowman said. “We were all pumped to see him do that.’’
That sent a surge into the Pioneers, as the cut the margin to 5-2 with 25:27 to go.
Next it was Bowman from 20-yards out, to cut it to 5-3 with 24:29 to go.
Then, Bowman pounded home a shot from 15-yards out and it was 5-4, Rangers, with 23:20 left.
Finally, Dakota Clay lofted a perfect ball from midfield into the offensive end. Bowman flagged it down and sent a laser into the upper corner of the net from 18-yards out.
That tied it at 5 with 9:45 left.
In the second half, coach Engle used his son Joe Engle to guard Maria in the offensive end. That helped to stabilize the defense, with Bowman up front.
Bowman said the team is learning how to play without graduated Cameron Worsham, who was second team all-state last year and the school’s all-time leading goal scorer.
“It is a transition and we also had Levi Shenk, both of those guys were first team all-league,” Bowman said. “You lose those guys and we have to fill their shoes and they are giant shoes to fill, too.’’
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.