Shorthanded Rock Bridge girls soccer team falls to Troy

Monday, April 23, 2012 | 10:24 p.m. CDT; updated 10:44 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 23, 2012

COLUMBIA — In the athletic training room at Rock Bridge High School there's an inspirational picture hanging on the wall.

The picture is old, with pieces missing and a broken frame surrounding it. Tape is the only thing that holds it together.

After the Bruins girls soccer team lost 2-1 Monday night to visiting Troy, Rock Bridge coach Marc Vandover drew comparisons between the picture and his team. 

"We are just put together with tape right now," Vandover said. "But we have to keep going."

With only one healthy goalkeeper left on the roster to start Monday's game, Vandover needed a plan in case sophomore Madison Boyken got hurt.

Brett Fuller, a senior defender whose most recent goaltending experience amounted to 15 minutes of practice time earlier in the season, would be an emergency goaltender if needed. Vandover hoped he was just taking precautions.

Early in the second half, though, Boyken suffered an apparent concussion after being kicked in the head attempting to stop a breakaway by a Troy forward. Although she got up and appeared to want to stay in the game, Vandover decided to take her out.

"It was something I didn't want to plan for," Vandover said. "Madison was just having the game of her life."

Boyken had preserved the Bruins' lead until she was injured, stopping two breakaway attempts by Troy forwards.

Vandover was forced to send in Fuller. Although she was hurt in the collision, Boyken was called for a penalty after sliding into the Troy forward in the box, resulting in a penalty shot.  

Fuller stood frozen in the center of the goal as the Troy player slid the ball into the corner of the net, tying the game at 1 point apiece. 

After regulation and a scoreless overtime, Fuller once again faced penalty shots. Although she stopped one of the five shots she faced, it wasn't enough to win the game for the Bruins.

After the game, the Bruins have a tradition of giving out "props" to teammates for their play during the game. Boyken and several teammates praised Fuller for her effort.  

"They rallied behind Brett and that was pretty awesome to see," Vandover said.

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