Improvement key for Rock Bridge soccer team

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | 9:24 p.m. CDT; updated 10:03 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Rock Bridge defender Tyler Brittain battles for the ball against Rolla on Tuesday in the Bruins' home opener.

COLUMBIA — The Rock Bridge boys soccer team did not get off to a encouraging start when it begins its season with back-to-back losses last weekend at the Midwest Soccer Classic in Quincy, Ill.

“Every season starts with a clean slate,” Bruins coach Kyle Austin said. “We were disappointed after losing the first two games. Nobody likes to lose. But we know we’re young and we know at times we will suffer.”

Not pushing too hard seems to be working. The Bruins won their final game of the tournament to go 1-2, then they won their home opener Tuesday. Matt Kelly scored the lone goal in Rock Bridge's 1-0 win over Rolla that evened the Bruins' record at 2-2.

“It was the best game of the season so far,” Austin said. “We don’t have any season expectations yet. Right now, we’re just trying to improve every game.”

Rock Bridge’s next game is set for 5 p.m. Friday against Moberly at the Moberly Shootout.

Austin lost a lot of experience from last year’s team, which had 12 seniors. This year, the Bruins have seven seniors, only two of which were starters last year, making this year’s squad much younger than last year’s.

This year’s captains are Brady Wulff, Ryan Taylor and Danny Baird and other key players include Kelly and Sam Stoeckl.

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