Injuries don't stop Rock Bridge girls soccer team's defense

Bruins players battle through pain to defeat Moberly 2-0 in their last home game of the season.
Monday, May 5, 2008 | 11:17 p.m. CDT; updated 10:48 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Rock Bridge girls’ soccer team appeared to be nearly back to full strength when they faced off against Moberly on Monday in its last home game of the season.

Senior Alex Litofsky fell early in warm-ups after rolling her left ankle and did not get up for a few minutes. Litofsky did not participate in warm-ups again until the last few minutes.

Her ankle didn’t hold her back once the game started, however. Litofsky’s speed helped power a solid Rock Bridge defense. With two goals from senior Lauren Kelly, the Bruins shut out Moberly.

“I’ve been battling an ankle injury, and it just kind of gave out on me,” Litofsky said. “ I was a little bit tentative with hard passes on my left. But it’s OK.”

Bruins coach Kelly Gates said she was happy with Litofsky’s performance despite the injury.

“I think she did a good job,” Gates said. “She still got a lot of touches on the ball.”

Litofsky wasn’t the only Rock Bridge player dealing with an injury.

Junior Kelsey Eckenrode started the game wearing a brace to support an ankle injury from earlier in the season, but took it off for the second half. With Eckenrode nearly back to full health, the Bruins’ offense will be close to full strength going into the final part of its season.

“She said it was too tight, so she took it off,” Gates said. “She seems to be doing a lot better.”

Going into the Class 2, District 10 tournament, Gates said she is more worried about her team’s first district match than she is the injuries her players are dealing with. Rock Bridge faces rival Hickman at 1 p.m. Saturday in the first round in Sedalia.

“I was hoping to not have to play them because of all the emotions that go into it from both sides,” Gates said.

Litofsky, however, isn’t concerned.

“I’m excited to play them again,” she said. “We’ve had success against them the last two games we’ve played them.”

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