Shawnee Mission used size to level Rock Bridge every chance it got.
The Bruins used their speed to sidestep the Raiders.
The Bruins did so enough to defeat the Raiders 7-1 in a lacrosse match Wednesday at Cosmopolitan Park. Shawnee Mission (6-7) was much bigger than Rock Bridge (7-3), but the Bruins’ finesse controlled the game. Rock Bridge controlled the flow and its offense worked without a hitch. The offense worked so well every Bruins goal was assisted.
Fundamental play wins match
Rock Bridge coach Ben Smith said nothing about his team was extraordinary but that his players did what they needed to do.
“We picked up the ground balls,” Smith said. “We backed up shots and won the ball back. We rode ’em hard on transition so all they could do was chuck the ball down the field.
“It gave us a big opportunity to get the ball back.”
The Bruins spent most of the game on offense and took 37 shots compared with the Raiders’ 27.
Rock Bridge goalie Chris Johnson came through when a Raider slipped through the defense. He allowed one goal and had 14 saves.
Kyle Blaeuer and Blake Schleider led the offense. Schleider and Blaeuer either scored or assisted every goal for Rock Bridge. Schleider had two goals, and Blaeuer had one. Each had three assists.
“Today I really didn’t have much success shooting the ball,” Schleider said. “I went for the looks where I draw the defender and the slide would come and it would leave somebody open for a better look than what I had.”
Bruins demoralize Raiders by halftime
Rock Bridge led 4-1 at halftime, and its play left the Raiders looking dejected. During halftime, most of the team sat down in a circle listening unenthusiastically to coach John Bartel.
The mentality carried into the Raiders’ second-half play. At times, the Raiders seemed reluctant to attack the ball.
One Raider never stopped working. Greg Faltermeir hustled and continued to deliver leveling hits until the end. Faltermeir scored Shawnee Mission’s goal unassisted after he barreled through the Bruins’ defense.
Bruins use speed, endurance to tire opponent
The Bruins didn’t run through Shawnee Mission’s defense but instead ran around it. Blaeuer enjoyed a game with few stoppages because it allowed Rock Bridge to use its speed.
“Because it was more fast paced, you could wear the other team’s defense down better,” Blaeuer said.
Blaeuer said his team’s improvement was the most impressive feat he saw.
“It’s relieving because your team hasn’t been working as well before and you finally start clicking, so it’s relieving pressure,” Blaeuer said.