COLUMBIA — The Rock Bridge girls soccer team was frustrated after its first half of play Friday night against Pembroke Hill.
"Who's having fun?" senior midfielder Carmen Boessen asked her teammates as they sat on the bench during halftime.
After the 1-0 win over Pembroke Hill, the Bruins move to the semifinals of the Hickman Girl's Soccer Tournament. The Bruins will play the winner of a match between Troy and Blue Springs South in the semifinals at 10:45 a.m. Saturday at Rock Bridge. If the Bruins win that game, they will advance to the finals, which will be held at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Rock Bridge.
That was one of the worst halves they had played all season, she told them, and they were lucky the game was still scoreless.
Senior defender Katrina Fox then offered up a different message, one echoed by her whole team going into the second half: Loosen up and have fun, and good things will happen in the second half.
She was right.
After a first-half stalemate with few scoring chances for either side, Rock Bridge put pressure on Pembroke Hill, gained momentum and won its first game of the Hickman High School Girl's Soccer Tournament, 1-0.
Midway through the second half, the Bruins finally scored on a breakaway goal by sophomore midfielder Laurie Frew. Sophomore Haleigh Fancher placed a midfield cross just over the head of Pembroke Hill defender Shaleni Kovach that found Frew alone in front of the net.
Earlier in the first half, Frew had a chance at the top of the goalie box that she shot wide by a large margin. Assistant coach Anne Felts yelled out to her from the Rock Bridge bench, giving her trouble for her shot.
"Laurie,"' Felts yelled. "The goal's over there!"
Felts didn't miss her chance the second time around, putting the Bruins in the lead for good.
"They always tell me I need to shoot more," Frew said of her coaches after the game.
When all was said and done, Frew finished with four shots on goal. Head coach Marc Vandover said he was happy Frew received his message.
"Her play has just gotten better and better," Vandover said. "For some reason she has been a little timid to take a shot, but I like the ball on her foot."
Frew said the team followed their plan in the second-half and let loose, saying that when they play uptight and don't have fun, they usually end up losing.
Vandover said that a relaxed mentality will be important for his team as they move forward for the rest of the season.
"This team has rallied around each other," Vandover said. "They pick each other up no matter what, and for that I am very grateful."
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