Girl’s soccer stronger than Kewpies


Senior Reilly Strong and freshman Payton McCallister leap to head a cross from junior Molly Klein. Strong would score on the header and record the winning goal for the Bruins. Photo by Sury Rawat.

John Flanegin

The Rock Bridge girl’s soccer team improved to 6-2 on the year last night after notching a victory against bitter rival Hickman at LeMone Field. The Lady Bruins were 1-2 last year against the Kewpies including a loss ending their season in the District 11 final. In their most recent meeting RBHS was held to a draw against their crosstown foe in a 30 minute exhibition during this year’s annual Jamboree that kicked off the season.

Freshman Claire Cain battles Hickman's Kelsey Mirts for control of the ball. Photo by Sury Rawat.
Freshman Claire Cain battles Hickman’s Kelsey Mirts for control of the ball. Photo by Sury Rawat.
Heading into their first of two scheduled matchups versus Hickman, the Bruins, coached by Gary Drewing, saw communication as a key aspect to hone and use to their advantage on the pitch.
“[Our focus was] to stay consistent throughout the game,” sophomore forward and midfielder Molly Gunter said, “and to keep our talk up.”
And with the opening whistle began a deadlocked first half full of opportunities for both sides, forcing senior goalkeeper Sydney Mulholland to stop multiple shots on goal.
For junior midfielder and forward Molly Klein the first 40 minutes were full of familiar faces. Klein, who had spent her freshman year on Hickman’s varsity squad finally got to see her first competitive varsity action against her former team after being constrained to Rock Bridge’s JV team all of last year due to her transfer.
“I think I stepped up my game because of it,” Klein said, “I’ve played club [soccer] with a lot of those girls for years now so it was weird being on the opposing team.”
Despite Klein’s added effort the teams remained even at half with both the Kewpies and Bruins sitting at zero goals apiece, thus leading to modifications to the team’s game plan and make-up. Drewing’s first adjustment came with the substitution of junior Cameron Dorth for Mulholland as keeper, a maneuver the team has implemented into many of their recent games.
In addition to the swap in goal the Bruins were given some rousing advice by their head coach.
“He just wanted us to keep our intensity,” Gunter said, “and told us to leave it all on the field.”
Drewing’s words were quickly tested when Hickman junior Kelsey Mirts scored just eight minutes into the second half in the 48th minute.
However, the Kewpies lead only lasted 2 minutes when Gunter scored off of a Danni Hrdina assist in the 50th minute, swaying the games momentum in the Bruin’s favor.
The decisive moment and ultimately game winning goal came in the 72nd minute when RBHS received a corner kick with Klein as the inbounder.
“Right before I took it I knew that was our chance to score,” Klein said. “I was just hoping someone would be there to put their head on it. I usually just try to place my corners in the middle of the box, that’s always a dangerous place.”
And there was someone there, senior midfielder Reilly Strong. Strong’s header gave the Bruins a decisive 2-1 lead that would last until the last eight minutes elapsed.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Strong said. “It was awesome to think that we had come back and beaten Hickman after losing to them last year [in the district final].”
Senior Reilly Strong looks to pass to a teammate. Against Hickman Strong would record the decisive goal pushing the Bruins ahead 2-1.
Senior Reilly Strong looks to pass to a teammate. Against Hickman Strong would record the decisive goal pushing the Bruins ahead 2-1.
RBHS will have a short time to celebrate their win before they will compete in the Kickapoo tournament beginning this Friday, the 17th. Strong hopes to see improvements in the team as they continue their season.
“I would love to see us all come out hard from the very beginning of each game,” Strong said. “And keep that intensity up the whole game.”[vc_gallery type=”flexslider_fade” interval=”3″ images=”274882,274885,274889,274876,274884,274887,274883,274875,274888,274877,274886,274878,274880,274881″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” title=”Girls soccer stronger than Kewpies”]Photos by Sury Rawat