COLUMBIA — Cheers erupted from the Rock Bridge bench and the stands Wednesday night. Two goals in the last part of the first half stood up for a 2-0 victory over visiting rival Hickman. It was the Bruins' second victory over the Kewpies this season.
“I’m just happy for our girls,” Rock Bridge coach Marc Vandover said. “It was a completely different team that was on the field compared to the first time we played Hickman. Win or lose, we just keep improving.”
Vandover said that though the Bruins (7-11) started each half slowly, their effort showed on the field.
“I told them to enjoy the win, but be ready to practice hard tomorrow,” Vandover said. “Practice won’t be as hard tomorrow, you can’t go too hard after an emotional game like this, but it definitely won’t be a day off.”
While the Bruins made a lot of noise after winning, the Hickman (6-11-1) bench was silent.
“You can’t give a team like Rock Bridge two goals and expect to come back and win,” Hickman coach Tony Gragnani said.
Gragnani said he was proud of his team's performance, especially during the first 10 minutes of the game. However, he said after that his team team was unable to respond.
“I told the girls that we came out and played well, but the better team won,” Gragnani said, “I also told them that they will have to take this and bounce back from it. It’s a tough loss, but we can’t let it ruin our season, and we just have to keep preparing for districts.”
Hickman senior Edith Lopez agreed with Gragnani.
“After this game, I feel like we got outplayed, but we can’t cry. We just have to lift our heads up,” Lopez said.
“I’m frustrated,” fellow senior Lauren Kaufman said. “I know we can do better. It’s not fun losing to a team you know you can beat, especially when they’re your arch rival.”
The Kewpies will be facing long practices starting Thursday.
“That’s just how practice is going to be,” Kaufman said. “There is obviously something that we aren’t doing right and the more practice we get the better.”
One thing Kaufman knows for sure.
“I just can’t wait to see Rock Bridge in districts,” Kaufman said.