Persistence paid off in the second half for Rock Bridge and Karissa Nedoma.
Nedoma scored two goals in the second half to lead Rock Bridge to a 4-0 victory against the Smith-Cotton Tigers at Cosmopolitan Park on Monday. The win snapped a three-game losing streak.
“Nedoma came up big tonight.” Bruins coach Marc VanDover said. “She didn’t get rewarded in the first half but she worked really hard to put herself in that position. She missed some shots, but even at the professional level it takes about 10 shots to equal a goal.”
Nedoma’s reward came in the 53rd minute, when she gathered the ball in traffic and knocked it past goalie Cierra Spatz to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. The score ended a string of four scoreless halves for Rock Bridge (10-4-1).
Rock Bridge took six shots in the first half but could not get the ball past Spatz, who made 10 saves in the game. Smith-Cotton did not get a shot on goal in the game.
VanDover said it was frustrating to control the game but not get a score.
“She was working hard, but we were making their goalkeeper look a lot better than what she was,” VanDover said. “We were passing the ball right back to her and not making her move. We just needed a little more composure in the box. I talked to Nedoma at halftime and told her to just relax a little bit.”
The Bruins needed someone to emerge in the wake of Kelly Tanzey’s season-ending injury. Tanzey, the Bruins leading scorer, broke her right foot in Rock Bridge’s 3-0 loss against St. Joseph’s on Thursday.
“The outside of my foot just snapped, it was probably already weakened by a previous injury that I didn’t feel before.” Tanzey said. “Tonight shows that Nedoma has picked it up and scored some goals. I’m just one person and I’m still here to cheer them on.”
Nedoma struck again in the 68th minute on a superb pass from freshman Kiki Kruse to put the Bruins up 3-0.
“(Kruse) was taking on two defenders and she somehow managed to get a little bit through them and overpower them and get the cross off,” Nedoma said. “I saw the goalie moving to one side so I one-touched it to the other side of the goal.”
VanDover said Nedoma’s performance was what his team needed.
“That’s what I’ve got to have every game.” VanDover said. “Somebody’s got to step up every single game. I’ve lost not only our No. 1 goal scorer, but she was looking for a lot of people on assists. She’s been everything.”
The Bruins also got a goal from Jenny Blankenship in the 64th minute and from Kelly Simon in the 77th minute.