COLUMBIA — The goalkeepers on the Rock Bridge girls soccer team have a love-hate relationship.
Sophomore Stephanie Monticelli and junior Carrie Levy are competing to be the Bruins' starter, and coach Marc VanDover expects the competition to go throughout the season.
“It’s good competition,” Monticelli said. “I still cheer for her. We’re on the same team, so of course I want her to do well.”
During Saturday’s 1-0 loss to visiting Lindbergh, Monticelli started for the Bruins, while Levy played in the second half.
Lindbergh’s Lindsey Gettis scored against Levy with just more than 18 minutes left in the game.
“We have two keepers that are neck and neck,” VanDover said. “They’re pretty darn even right now. No one’s won that position yet.”
Despite the competition, they still joke around with each other. Monticelli has a nickname of “Fatty” on the team because, last season, while she was on JV, she sat on the varsity bench during one of the varsity games, and was eating two cheeseburgers. Rock Bridge senior Kayla Hauck then gave Monticelli the nickname, and it has stuck.
After Saturday’s game, the two goalies were talking, and while laughing, Levy addressed Monticelli by her nickname.
Before playing Lindbergh, Monticelli and Levy each played one entire game for Rock Bridge, both resulting in wins for the Bruins.
Even though the Bruins lost on Saturday, both goalies made spectacular saves that kept the Bruins in the game. In the first half, Monticelli barely got her fingertips on a ball that was heading toward the net off of a free kick. At the end of the game, with Lindbergh trying to add a second goal, Levy made a diving stop across the net.
“Either way, we’d both come out and give it our all, but this kind of adds to it,” Levy said. “We both know we’re fighting for who gets to play in the game. It is sort of like a love-hate relationship, but we both still encourage each other.”
The loss to Lindbergh drops the Bruins to 2-1.
“They’ve been going as hard as they can,” VanDover said. “I think it brings out a little fire in them. But, they’re very supportive of each other.“
Rock Bridge will host Hickman on Monday, followed by an away game on Tuesday at Jefferson City. They will head to the Kickapoo Tournament next weekend in Springfield, in which they will play three games in two days.
“We’ll get a good look at our keepers in the upcoming week, and hopefully do an evaluation then,” VanDover said. "But for right now, it’s ongoing."