Bruins test focus for district action

Friday, May 6, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:38 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 7, 2008

The Rock Bridge girls’ soccer team is looking forward to a warm-up for the district tournament.

The Bruins will travel to Quincy, Ill., today to compete in the two-day Quincy Tournament.

Rock Bridge is slated to play Galesburg, Ill., in its first game at 5 p.m. today. The Bruins will take nearly a 2-hour bus trip to compete in their last tournament before the Class 2 District 10 Tournament begins May 16. The only other Missouri team competing in the Quincy Tournament is Rolla.

Rock Bridge coach Marc VanDover said they choose to play in the tournament for the competition.

“It’s a good tune-up for districts,” he said. “If (the teams are) anything like they have been in the past, they’re physical and fast. They always have a couple of strikers that are just incredibly fast. It seems like all the teams that are there, they change uniforms, but they all look the same.”

Coming off a 3-0 loss to Hickman on Wednesday night, VanDover said he is trying to do his best to make sure the Bruins (10-6) are progressing toward a strong district tournament. He said the team is getting stronger physically and mentally.

“Even though we didn’t have the result that we wanted (against Hickman), it was a pretty good character build on our part,” VanDover said. “They could easily just say, ‘No, there’s no way we’re even going to get close in this game,’ and I think everybody took away something from the game.”

The Bruins are scheduled to play Morton, Ill., at 9 a.m. Saturday, with their final game at 1 p.m. against Sacred Heart of Springfield, Ill. Last year, the Bruins lost to Morton 3-2 and 2-1 to Sacred Heart.

VanDover said he thinks this weekend will be another character test for his team. The Rock Bridge prom is Saturday night, and he plans on releasing some of the starters from their third game to attend.

“The trick for me will be to have them concentrating on this weekend of playing soccer and not prom,” VanDover said. “I don’t know how I’ll fare on that, but I’m going to try.”

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