COLUMBIA —A 9 a.m. start might have been too early for the Rock Bridge boys soccer team Saturday against Springfield Catholic in the final day of the Bruins Shootout.
It was the earliest game Rock Bridge has played all season, and after scoreless first half, Rock Bridge coach Alex Nichols criticized his team for being lazy with the ball and not showing enough energy.
“We think we can hold onto the ball longer we actually can,” Nichols said. “It’s everybody.”
Not much changed in the second half, and the Fighting Irish went on to win 1-0.
“This is a good win for us,” Springfield Catholic coach Tom Guinn said. “They’re close to being ranked in the top 10 in the state so we’re proud.”
Springfield Catholic, a Class 1 school that improved to 18-3 with the victory, didn't hold back against the Class 3 Bruins (14-6-1). Guinn said playing with an aggressive style similar to what Rock Bridge uses was a key to the victory.
“We tried to match their physicality and come out as hard as they were,” said Springfield Catholic’s Mitchell Moncada, who scored the only goal of the game two minutes into the second half.
Nichols said he hoped playing in the Bruin Shootout would help prepare his team for postseason play.
“There are some learning lessons from this game,” Nichols said. “We need to get the ball out faster, play harder on 50-50 balls, and finish opportunities.”
The Bruins' next game is set for Tuesday night at Jefferson City.