The Rock Bridge Bruins knew that if they kept battling, they’d get the goal.
It finally happened when Michael Ferguson scored with less than a minute left in regulation in a 1-1 tie with Jefferson City.
Jefferson City goalkeeper Dustin Dolce stopped three shots in a five-second span but couldn’t get to the fourth.
“We were bound to get one,” said Ferguson. “I knew it was coming eventually.”
The Bruins fell behind for the first time all season on Tyree Robinson’s goal in the 17th minute past a diving Tanner Mills.
The tally was the first allowed by Mills this season. The senior co-captain praised his teammates for coming together and salvaging the tie.
“It was rough. We fought. The second half was ours. I thought the overtimes were ours. Everybody just pulled it together,” Mills said.
“We needed to face adversity. We felt like we faced adversity, and we became a stronger team because of it,” said Bruins’ coach David Graham.
“We know we’ve got a lot of work to do. To continue becoming a good team, we’ve got to face challenges like this. We’ve got to check what we’ve got inside, because the season’s not going to be an easy one the whole way through,” Graham added.
Jefferson City (1-2-1) outplayed the Bruins early and nearly added to its lead in the 22nd minute. That goal, however, was disallowed because of a foul, and the game remained 1-0 until Ferguson’s equalizer.
Jays’ coach Eddie Horn disputed the amount of extra time added by the referees to the end of regulation.
“In the United States Soccer Federation rules, they have the discretion to add time. But in high school, I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and officials never keep the time,” said Horn.
He did not, however, blame the officials for his team not getting a win.
After expending a lot of energy during the furious Rock Bridge rally, the teams headed to sudden death.
High school rules dictate that two 10-minute overtime sessions be played.
Ferguson nearly scored a “golden goal” two minutes into the first extra frame, but his shot was blocked. Dolce made his best two saves of the night on Ferguson later in overtime.
“If I get that lucky in my life, I’ll buy a lottery ticket,” Mills said of his counterpart’s kick save in the last minute of the first overtime.
The Bruins (3-0-1) play Thursday at Quincy-Notre Dame. They then travel to St. Charles West on Saturday before playing host to Kansas City O’Hara Monday.