Soccer rolls early, advances to district final

Senior+Bailey+Goyette+tries+to+keep+the+ball+in+from+going+out+to+push+the+ball+towards+the+corner+and+attempt+to+make+a+cross+against+Smith-Cotton.+Photo+by+Justin+Sutherland

Senior Bailey Goyette tries to keep the ball in from going out to push the ball towards the corner and attempt to make a cross against Smith-Cotton. Photo by Justin Sutherland

Brayden Parker

Senior Bailey Goyette tries to keep the ball in from going out to push the ball towards the corner and attempt to make a cross against Smith-Cotton. Photo by Justin Sutherland
Senior Bailey Goyette tries to keep the ball in from going out to push the ball towards the corner and attempt to make a cross against Smith-Cotton. Photo by Justin Sutherland
Rock Bridge 4, Sedalia Smith-Cotton 2 Ten days removed from the last time they took the pitch, the Rock Bridge soccer team was eager to take the field Tuesday night at Hickman High School. Looking to improve on their regular season success, the Bruins (19-4-1) lined up against Sedalia Smith-Cotton (14-9-1) in the MSHSAA Class 3 District 9 semifinal with the winner advancing to the final on Thursday.
“Every game at this point is win or go home,” senior Jacob Kovarik said, “and we need to play like that.”
Knowing that each time they play could be their last, the Bruins came out with steam and opened the game with a quick offensive attack. After just seven minutes, sophomore Tarnue Tyler scored a goal to put RBHS up early 1-0. Five minutes later, senior Austin McDonald converted the corner kick to extend the Bruin lead to 2-0. McDonald, fired up after netting his first goal of the night, put his second score on the board in the 15th minute in a similar fashion, reading the corner kick and placing the ball behind the Tigers’ keeper.
The Bruins’ explosive start gave them a 3-0 advantage heading into halftime, and RBHS never looked back.
“Our offense did great, and being able to score four goals was huge,” Kovarik said. “We played hard and came out on top, and that’s what matters at the end of the day.”
Just as RBHS started the first half, Smith-Cotton attacked the Bruins’ defensive front and netted their first goal just two minutes into the second period. Junior Connor Blitz answered for the Bruins in the 47th minute, yet the Tigers continued to advance on the RBHS defense and scored a second goal two minutes later. This would be the last goal for both Smith-Cotton and for the game. As the rain began to pour down, the Bruins were able to hold off any further scoring tries and, despite the sloppy weather, cleaned up their defense to win the district semifinal 4-2.
“We definitely struggled a little in the back,” Kovarik said. “Giving up two goals in a postseason game isn’t representative of our team and will be fixed. We have some problems that need to be taken care of and we’re just going to work as hard as possible and prepare as much as we can because whoever we play will be a tough competitor.”
Story by Brayden Parker
After defeating Blue Springs South 1-0 tonight, the Hickman Kewpies (8-14-1) will take on the Bruins, Thursday night at HHS. The two rivals met on Oct. 1 with RBHS winning 5-0.
Here are the highlights of this game. Watch here:
Video by Eric Glennon
At the time of publishing the time and location for the state sectional game against the Jays was unknown. RBHS defeated JCHS 1-0 in Columbia on Oct.22 in overtime.