Coaches can’t teach speed, and Moberly’s players discovered they couldn’t be beaten Tuesday night, either.
The Rock Bridge Bruins defeated the Spartans 6-0 at Cosmopolitan Park. Michael Ferguson, a junior forward, scored three goals and added an assist.
Spartans coach Kent Briscoe said the Bruins’ speed overwhelmed the Spartans.
“It’s hard to combat speed,” Briscoe said. “Rock Bridge has a whole lot of speed, and it’s hard to play against.”
The Bruins (13-5) started slowly but scored four goals in the second half. The Bruins’ persistence pleased coach David Graham.
“We knew that Moberly had lost to Jefferson City by the same score that we had, so we had the ultimate respect for them, but we didn’t want to stop until we had things well under control,” Graham said.
Graham respected Moberly’s talent but said his team responded well to the challenge.
“I don’t have any complaints about the way that we played tonight,” Graham said. “We had a game plan coming in, and we knew what we needed to do.”
The Bruins were a step ahead all night in outshooting the Spartans 30-5.
Ferguson scored first in the seventh minute off a rebound close to the goal.
In the 23rd minute, he assisted Marco Pagoada, who scored from 10 feet, to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Senior Nate Wax pushed the ball from midfield through the Spartans’ defense to feed Ferguson on the wing.
Rock Bridge’s quickness paid off on defense as well, for its aggressive play denied the Spartans chances to score. Moberly (10-7) took five shots on goal and struggled to keep possession of the ball because of the Bruins’ tenacious defense.
The Bruins continued to pressure the Spartans in the second half. Wax continued his control of the offense and nearly directed more scores.
Wax lifted a crossing pass to Ferguson but Spartans goalie Joel Davidson snared his header. Three minutes later, Wax passed to Pagoada on the wing, but he overshot a one-on-one against Davidson.
Graham says Wax’s play should serve as a model to motivate other players.
“Nate’s been very consistent this year, playing at a high level,” Graham said. “I hope that everyone on our team can take Nate’s example and play like that.”
In the 20th minute of the second half, the Bruins took a 3-0 lead as Ferguson, while colliding with Davidson, scored on a header.