Sometimes ties are a good thing.
Rock Bridge tied two school soccer records in its regular season finale Thursday night while one player set a new one.
Rock Bridge (19-1-2) equaled last year’s record win total in a 3-2 win against Rolla at Cosmopolitan Park.
“From here on out, every win makes us the best Rock Bridge team ever,” coach David Graham said.
Michael Ferguson had a hat trick to give him 73 career goals, tying a school record.
“I had no idea I was that close (to the record),” Ferguson said. “I’m always happy to set new records. The important thing was it won the game.”
The assist on Ferguson’s last goal also set a new school record. Adam Reed logged 35 for his career.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Reed said. “It shows consistency throughout my career, helping out and getting assists. It’ll be nice to keep trying to catch David (Hilderbrand) for the single-season mark.”
Reed had 17 assists this season, two behind Hilderbrand.
The Bruins fell behind Rolla (18-6) in the ninth minute when the Bulldogs’ Steven Williams scored off a corner kick.
The goal came immediately after goalkeeper Tanner Mills was issued a yellow card for talking back to the referee. Mills had to leave the game and Williams took advantage, getting a shot past Rock Bridge backup Adam Andrews.
The Bruins responded quickly as Ferguson took a long pass from Paul Mattli and beat Rolla goalkeeper Sam Steelman in the 13th minute.
Ferguson gave Rock Bridge a halftime lead, scoring on a tough angle in stoppage time.
The score remained 2-1 until the 70th minute when Brandon Moore netted the equalizer for Rolla.
Three minutes later, Reed set Ferguson up for the record-tying goal.
Ferguson’s parents were there to witness their son’s performance.
“We’re just proud parents,” Ernie Ferguson said. “He’s done everything on his own. It’s not like we’ve actually done anything.”
Cyndi Ferguson said she had bittersweet feelings about the situation.
“He’s been really great,” she said. “The whole team has. These guys have been playing together forever. I’m so sad it’s our last year.”
The win wasn’t certain for Rock Bridge until Josh McNutt cleared a loose ball out of the goal mouth in the final minutes after Mills and Ben Patton ran into each other, dislodging the ball from Mills’ grip.
It was the second straight one-goal victory for the Bruins, who begin district play at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cosmopolitan Park against either Jefferson City or Camdenton.
“This was an outstanding test for us before districts,” Graham said. “That’s exactly the kind of game we wanted. We wanted a close game that tested what kind of men we were. We’ve got one more thing to do. We’re not done. We want to go a little bit further than we are right now.”