COLUMBIA — A great start was all the Rock Bridge boys soccer team needed Tuesday night in a 4-1 victory over visiting Helias Catholic.
Rock Bridge’s Salim Gumati scored the game’s first goal on an 18-yard strike nine minutes into the game.
“I feel like that brought the intensity up,” Gumati said. “With a goal like that, just outside 18, that hard, that powerful, it just brings everyone up and everyone is just so much more intense and you could see that with the next three goals that we scored."
All of the scoring came during the first half. After Gumati’s goal, Ryan Stanowski, Eli Sherman and Tripp Sheehan each connected for Rock Bridge. Helias scored their first goal on a penalty kick with 45.9 seconds left before halftime. Crusaders forward Brett Jackson beat Rock Bridge goalkeeper Greg Kelly.
“They came out really well in the first half, but it is a tale of two halves,” Rock Bridge coach Alex Nichols said.
Nichols and Kelly each said that Rock Bridge needed to play better in the second half of Tuesday’s game and emphasized the need to stay focused when playing with a large lead. Both said that they should have scored more goals in the second half.
“We kind of feel like we’re too far ahead to where we just lay off and we don’t come out with the intensity that we need to,” Kelly said.
Nichols said he was frustrated with his team’s lack of consistency this season. He mentioned last weekend’s Gateway Classic in St. Louis when Rock Bridge defeated nationally ranked Reitz Memorial from Evansville, Ind., in the semifinals but then gave up four goals and lost in the championship game.
Rock Bridge improves to 10-5-1 with the win. The Bruins next play Saturday at Mehlville in St. Louis.
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.