Despite taking a lead 10 minutes into the second half of their game Monday night against Quincy Notre Dame, the Rock Bridge girls’ soccer team is still looking for its first home victory in over a month.
The Bruins (6-5-4) tied the Raiders (7-2-3) at 1 as shivering fans watched under a seamless gray sky at Cosmopolitan Park. Rock Bridge coach Marc VanDover said the game did not proceed into overtime because it was not a district game and the Raiders, who are from Quincy, Ill., had a long ride ahead of them.
“They drove a long way, so we called it out of courtesy to them, but we were ready to keep playing,” VanDover said.
That might have been because VanDover was so happy with how the team played. He said the Bruins were working the ball well all game, something that first showed in the Smith-Cotton tournament last weekend when the team went undefeated, winning one game and tying two.
“Our game just morphed and showed it’s beautiful head this weekend in the Smith-Cotton tournament,” he said. “We worked the ball very well and had several good opportunities; we jut couldn’t put the car in the garage and shut the door.”
Rock Bridge controlled the game for most of the first half, denying the Raiders any quality scoring chances while forcing Raiders goalie Natalie Siebers to punch two balls over the crossbar in order to keep the Bruins off the board. Despite peppering the goal with shots, the score was knotted at zero as the teams headed into their halftime huddles.
After countless chances, the Bruins finally converted 10 minutes into the second half. After freshman goalie Katharine Harry stopped a point-blank header off a corner kick, the Bruins raced up the left side of the field. Sophomore forward Claire Schaeperkoetter crossed the ball across the box to fellow sophomore Lauren Kelly, who shot the ball toward the right corner of the goal.
Siebers shuffled in front of the ball to scoop it up, only to let it slip through her fingers, between her legs and into the net.
Senior midfielder Rachel Mends said the team’s use of the outside of the field was effective.
“We moved for each other and got open tonight,” midfielder Rachel Mends said. “We used our wings well.”
The Raiders responded sixteen minutes later. Sophomore forward Mercedee Esterlein put the ball in the Bruins net, securing the tie.
Although the team is just 1-2-1 at home this season, Mends said playing at Cosmo Park is good for the team.
“Playing at home is good for us, but it’s hard when we don’t win,” Mends said. “It’s good having more support and hearing them cheer. It motivates us to play harder.”
The Bruins travel to Southern Boone today before Saturday’s game with St. Thomas Aquinas, ranked eighth in the nation according to the NSCAA/adidas national rankings, in Overland Park, Kan.