ST. LOUIS — After junior goalie Aubrie Cornell hurt her knee late in the Rock Bridge girls soccer team's game Saturday at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, sophomore Madison Boyken was thrown into the action unexpectedly.
With Cornell on the end of the Rock Bridge bench in obvious pain and the Bruins clinging to a 1-0 lead, Lindbergh started to control the flow of the game. The Bruins defense did not budge, however, stopping all of the Flyers attacks short of the goal.
But with a little more than a minute to go, a Lindbergh forward slipped by the Bruins defenders for a breakaway.
Boyken, sensing the play develop, sprinted out of the goal towards the Flyers forward, and sliding, blocked the Flyers shot to preserve the victory.
It wasn’t Boyken's first playing time of the season, or the day for that matter. Boyken regularly splits time with Cornell and played the first half of the Bruins' junior varsity game on Lindbergh’s backfield before the varsity game Saturday.
Rock Bridge coach Marc Vandover has used what some might call an unconventional goalie rotation so far this season, having both goalies split halves each game.
“Some people say they wouldn’t do it that way, but one hasn’t taken over the job,” Vandover said.
Vandover went against his own strategy Saturday, though, deciding to keep Cornell in the game after the first half, which featured a goal by the Bruins' Olivia Mends.
“She was in the heat of battle and was dialed in on this game,” Vandover said.
However, when Cornell was taken out of the game, Vandover wasn’t worried about sending in Boyken to replace her.
“I’ve been very confident in both of our keepers,” Vandover said. “They both have given us different facets of the game that we like, so I have been very pleased with their progress.”
The Bruins (3-2) will play Hickman at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Rock Bridge.