COLUMBIA — Cameron Dorth was in English class when she got the text from coach Jack Rubenstein two weeks ago.
With senior goalie Aubrie Cornell limited to only playing field positions because of a torn ligament in her thumb, the freshman was being promoted to the varsity roster.
“I was super nervous for the rest of the day,” Dorth said. “I had butterflies in my stomach. I literally felt like I was going to puke.”
The nerves have since settled for Dorth, who has made herself comfortable in goal for the Bruins.
She played the first half of Wednesday night’s game at Rock Bridge against Hickman, her fifth varsity start. Rubenstein opted for junior Madison Boyken to play the second half and overtime periods of the Bruins’ 2-1 victory, their fourth consecutive win and second win against their crosstown rival this season.
Dorth said playing at the varsity level as a freshman is an invaluable experience for her.
“This is amazing, I can’t even imagine how far this is going to take me in the next few years,” Dorth said.
Dorth surrendered a goal on one of the Kewpies’ few first-half scoring opportunities, but Rubenstein is impressed by his freshman goalie’s performance thus far on varsity.
“She plays beyond her years,” Rubenstein said.
Rubenstein attributes Dorth’s success to her confidence and composure, which he says is evident by her never panicking while playing.
Rubenstein recalled a save Dorth made in the first half of her second varsity game game back on April 29 against Smith-Cotton. Moving to her right, Dorth lunged with her right hand extended and deflected the ball over the net, out of danger. Rubenstein credited Dorth for saving the game for the Bruins, as what was a 0-0 tie at the time ended being a three-goal victory.
“She helped this team start a win streak," Rubenstein said. "We really haven’t had to worry about anything with her back there. It’s almost a calming effect for the team, not having to worry about the goalkeeper situation.”
Dorth helped turn the season around for Rock Bridge, but Boyken not surrendering a goal against Hickman allowed the success to continue for the Bruins, who have won five of their last seven games.
Their quest for a fifth consecutive district championship begins Monday evening against Hickman at Skyline Elementary School in Sedalia. Rubenstein will be comfortable regardless of whom his goalie is.
“This program is full of great keepers, and I’m confident in both of their abilities,” Rubenstein said.