With 29.7 seconds left in the second half of Saturday's Class 3 state quarterfinal game, it looked like Rock Bridge would be going to the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
Junior Carmen Boessen was tripped inside the opponent’s goalkeeper box and was awarded a penalty kick. The score was 0-0, and she had the chance to win the game for her team.
But the ball went flying over the goal. The goalkeeper didn’t have to touch it.
“Right after I did it, I was kind of in shock,” Boessen said. “I knew going in that I had the responsibility to my team, and, I mean, after I did it I was like, ‘I can’t believe I just did that.’ It made me want to pick up my game even more.”
Coach Marc VanDover had confidence that Boessen would win the game for the Bruins. In Rock Bridge’s sectional game, Boessen scored the second goal on a penalty kick to contribute to the Bruins 4-1 victory over Camdenton High School.
“Carmen is just an incredible athlete,” VanDover said. “I just knew it was in the back of the net.”
After the missed penalty kick, the game continued into 15 minutes of sudden death overtime. After 95 minutes of playing, no team had scored, and double overtime began with another 15 minutes on the clock.
Last year during the quarterfinal game, Rock Bridge beat Nixa in overtime to advance to the state semifinals. VanDover anticipated a similar thing happening this season.
“From the very beginning I felt like this was our game,” VanDover said. “We were the more physical team. I kept thinking we were going to get one. Their keeper came up big, time and time again."
In the second overtime, Glendale scored, and ended the season for Rock Bridge one game short of where it ended last year’s season.
“That was a perfectly placed ball,” VanDover said. “They probably couldn’t do it again.”
Since VanDover took over as head coach three years ago, the Bruins have won districts every year.
As heartbroken as Boessen is now, she is already looking toward next season.
“We are going to have to get together a little more over the summer to really find the chemistry,” Boessen said. “Next year, this isn’t happening again. We are getting to the final four.”