Rock Bridge players threw their lacrosse sticks into the air and stormed the field after their victory against Vianney.
The Bruins defeated the Griffins 5-4.
Strong defensive play dominated the Bruins’ (5-2) win against the Griffins (3-5) at Cosmopolitan Park on Sunday.
The Bruins led 4-3 with 4:49 left when Rock Bridge goalie Chris Johnson dropped the ball into his own net while trying to clear a save, tying at 4. Vianney’s Ben Majchaik received credit for the goal because he was the closest player.
Bruins coach Ben Smith said he was not worried after the play.
“I didn’t really think anything of it,” Smith said. “Mistakes happen and our guys are playing harder out there. I have a lot of faith in them.”
Johnson said he was upset about what happened but that his teammates helped him get his head back in the game.
“I just went to the sideline,” Johnson said. “My teammates talked to me and told me, ‘It’s all right, It’s OK.’ I just calmed down, went on with the game and got the job done.”
A couple of minutes later it was all right. Kyle Blaeuer earned a hat trick when he received a pass from Matthew McDonald and rocketed the ball past Vianney goalie Tom Bach for the winner.
Blaeuer said he didn’t know what he thought after he scored but knew vividly what ran through his mind right before.
“I was like, ‘Oh God, I’m gonna score. I’m gonna score,’ ” Blaeuer said.
Blauer’s other two goals also came with assists. The first score came from an assist by Nik Roetemyer. Blaeuer’s second goal came after a pass from Blake Schleider.
Smith said Rock Bridge did not have a lot of time to be offensive.
“We played man down for probably more than a half,” Smith said. “My man down is awesome. They kept the ball out of the goal and we won the game.”
In the first half of play, Rock Bridge received many penalties, including two for game misconduct against the coaches. After the heated game, Smith said he felt the calls were unfair and the referees had it out for him and his team.
Smith formed a plan at halftime to make sure penalties were not a factor.
“Basically, we can’t get penalties if we hold the ball, so we got our guys to focus on possessing the ball rather than going for the quick goal,” Smith said. “Staying out of the penalty box is what turned it around for us in the second half.”
Although his plan shifted the momentum, Smith said credit for the win belonged to the players on the field during man down.
“We’ve played man down a lot this season and these guys, day in and day out, just dominate man ups all over the place,” Smith said.
Blaeuer agreed but said the best part of the day was that the Bruins were able to bring their play together for the first time.