Neither junior Tiffany Harris nor freshman Katherine Harry had much of a chance to show their stuff in net on Monday night.
The goalies for the Rock Bridge girls’ soccer team had a quiet evening in the Bruins’ 4-0 victory against visiting Moberly at Cosmopolitan Park.
The Bruins (8-6-6) controlled the ball for most of the game, consistently passing the ball to their teammates’ feet and diffusing any dangerous scoring chances the Spartans tried to create.
This made for just eight combined touches for the two goalies, who coach Marc VanDover said are vying for the starting spot in district play.
“They’re pretty close,” he said. “I want one of them to step up and win it, but until then, they’ll keep taking turns.”
VanDover said Harris and Harry, who have been sharing time in goal for most of the season, have similar attributes.
“Both give us a presence back there,” VanDover said. “They’re both very confident, which is something you need in a keeper.”
Harris said she does not worry about sharing playing duties with Harry. Harris said she is more worried about getting better.
“I just try to improve every time I get out there,” Harris said. “I try to work on stronger catches and not rushing plays and opening the field up.”
When the goalies don’t get much of an opportunity to show off their physical skills, VanDover said he looks at whether or not the keepers can stay involved in the game mentally.
“It comes down to who keeps talking, who stays in the game mentally,” he said. “You have to use your opportunities. Staying involved is part of the game.”
In a game against a team like Moberly, who was unable to apply much offensive pressure, Harris said she tries to keep talking to the team, helping them stay positive. Harry agrees with her fellow keeper.
Even though they didn’t venture too far up the field Monday night, both keepers showered their teammates with advice and compliments. Whether it was alerting a fellow Bruin of a Moberly player bearing down on them or congratulating a teammate after a display of ability or hustle, Harris and Harry injected themselves via their vocal chords.
“I think about how I’m going to do when I get the ball,” Harry said. “I try to direct and be helpful.”
Rock Bridge has two make-up games this week. They meet Hickman tonight at 7 p.m. at MU’s Walton Stadium before travelling to Fort Zumwalt South on Wednesday. The Bruins then open Class 4 District 10 play at 7 p.m. Monday against Smith-Cotton at Cosmo Park.
The Bruins showed off their ball control against Moberly, something that has become the norm rather than the exception in the second half of the season, moving the ball both forwards and backwards effectively.
Sophomore forward Claire Schaeperkoetter’s goal in the eighth minute of the first half put the Bruins up 1-0, a lead they would hold until half time. In the second half, Schaeperkoetter struck in the 13th and 15th minutes to extend the Bruins’ lead to 3-0. Senior midfielder Sophia Alioto scored the final goal in the 37th minute.
Despite the competition for the starting job, Harry said she and Harris have a good relationship.
“We are real positive with each other,” Harry said. “We give each other a lot of encouragement. That way there’s no conflict within the team.”