COLUMBIA — The Rock Bridge boys soccer team has made it back to the Class 3 state semifinals for the third straight year. The Bruins have never made it past the semifinals, though.
Rock Bridge coach Alex Nichols said that after losing in the semifinals last year, the team now knows what needs to be done and that the team’s focus and motivation might be the factor that gets the Bruins into the state championship for the first time.
Rock Bridge (21-7-1)
vs. Chaminade (24-2-2)
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHERE: Blues Springs South High School
Rock Bridge is set to face Chaminade College Preparatory School at 6 p.m. Friday at Blue Springs South High School in the day's second semifinal. Christian Brothers plays Rockhurst in the day's first semifinal at 4 p.m.
Nichols noted that Rock Bridge is the only public high school in the final four, but reaching the semifinals for the third time has established the Bruins as a perennial state power.
Nichols said he wants his team to go into the competition focused and confident but not too cocky.
“It comes down to how much they want it,” Nichols said. “If they want it more than Chaminade, they can do it. They have the talent.”
Rock Bridge sophomore forward Connor Blitz has extra motivation entering the weekend's competition. Blitz is the son of Missouri women’s soccer coach Bryan Blitz.
Blitz said that over the last couple of weeks, obligations with the women’s team have kept his father busy. Bryan Blitz had to leave the Rock Bridge state quarterfinal game early because Missouri was hosting Illinois in an NCAA tournament game.
Now that the Tigers' season is over, Connor Blitz said his dad would be in attendance for the state semifinal game.
“It means a lot to me that he is going to be there for this game,” he said.