Despite the sting of each opposing goal, Marc VanDover had to admire the skill in every St. Joseph’s Academy score.
“I hope we got a good videotape of it,” VanDover, Rock Bridge’s coach, said. “They were pretty.”
The Angels defeated the Bruins 3-0 on Thursday at Cosmopolitan Park.
St. Joseph’s (14-0) is ranked No. 1 nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
“They are so skilled and so technical,” VanDover said. “They’re fun to watch if you’re a spectator. From my side, it was a little harder.”
Rock Bridge keeps Angels at bay in first half
Rock Bridge held the Angels to a 1-0 halftime lead, but two second-half goals broke the game open. St. Joseph’s limited Rock Bridge (9-4-1) to one shot in each half.
Angels forward Maggie Farrell scored on a header off a Julie Besmer pass in the 60th minute and Lindsay Schad added another header in the 71st minute off a Laura Heidenreich corner kick.
“The more you take shots, the more chances there are for you to score,” Bruins goalie Emily Schuenemeyer said. “They just broke down our defense with that outside cross ... then they get those headers off and that’s where the shots were coming from.”
Schuenemeyer made five saves in the first half before Emily Roark relieved her at halftime.
Bayes' score puts Rock Bridge on defense
Schuenemeyer stymied the St. Joseph’s offense until the 23rd minute, when Alex Bayes scored on a pass from Heidenreich to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.
St. Joseph’s coach Maureen McVey said her team had little trouble controlling the tempo.
“I think they let us control the ball, they were playing a very defensive game and so we got to do basically whatever we wanted with the ball,” McVey said. “It’s just when we hit the 10-yard box we ran into a lot of white. It’s hard to play against a team that plays a defensive game against you.”
Schuenemeyer saw the game differently.
“In games where you see a lot more shots, your natural instinct is to drop back and protect the box,” Schuenemeyer said. “But no way did we come into the game saying we were going to pack the box to defend them. We wanted to play offense as well.”
Rock Bridge would have been out of the game in the first half if not for a few key defensive plays.
Bruins defender Ashley Tune saved a goal in the 34th minute after Schuenemeyer came off her line to defend a shot. Tune kicked away the rebound just as it was about to cross the goalmouth.
“You’ve got to try and get in front of every shot,” Bruins defender Ashley Simon said. “If the goalie never touches it, it’s way better than if we have to rely on the goalie to make a save.”