The Rock Bridge girls’ soccer team’s second-half surge couldn’t overcome an early deficit.
Jefferson City was able to fend off the Bruins for a 2-1 win Tuesday night at Cosmopolitan Park and finally get a win in Columbia.
“It’s big for us to be able to get a win here against Rock Bridge because that’s something we haven’t done very much ever in our history,” Jefferson City coach Chris Miller said. “And with it being a district game, that’s also key for us.”
Jefferson City (7-2-1) started the scoring early, getting a goal near the five-minute mark of the first half. The Jays were awarded a free kick, and sophomore Rashonda Stanley wasted no time in putting the ball into play.
Stanley centered the ball to junior Jenna Steiner, who shot it into the left side of the goal, catching the Rock Bridge defenders out of position.
“We weren’t even ready,” Rock Bridge coach Marc VanDover said. “They caught us off guard.
“You can practice some things like this, but if you’re not ready, you’re going to get goals like that scored on you. I guarantee you that is going to be the only one that is scored on us like that.”
The Bruins (3-4) also were outhustled in the first half, VanDover said. Jefferson City controlled possession and had many scoring opportunities, ending up with four corner kicks in the half.
The Jays scored a second goal in the 33rd minute, again off a free kick. Freshman Kelsey Sanders shot the ball from the left side over a wall of defenders into the right corner of the goal to give Jefferson City a 2-0 halftime lead.
VanDover was not happy with his team’s play in the first half and questioned its effort.
“At halftime, I asked the kids if I could go for burgers right now, and no one gave me an order,” he said. “I took that to mean that they wanted to play the second half, and they did.”
Rock Bridge came out with a renewed intensity after the break, aggressively executing its offense.
In the 25th minute of the second half, senior Emily Winter delivered a pass across the field from the right side that found sophomore Erin Bucko. She dribbled around a defender and drilled a shot into the back of the net.
The Bruins continued to put pressure on the Jefferson City defense, gaining numerous scoring chances. Those opportunities never amounted to another goal, though.
Jefferson City’s sophomore goalkeeper, Jessie Sanderson, was an All-State selection as a freshman. She showcased her prowess, ending any shot Rock Bridge had to tie.
“I think we were fortunate to kind of hang on,” Miller said. “But I also know that we’ve got a solid defense and an excellent goalkeeper, and I know that we can win games like this. I’d like to see us perform a little bit better in the second half and not make it so scary though.”
Rock Bridge will play Quincy on Thursday at Cosmopolitan Park.