What a start!
Senior forward Aaron Froehlich scored his fourth goal of the game three minutes into overtime to give the Rolla High School boys' soccer team a thrilling, 4-3 victory over the nationally-ranked Columbia Rock Bridge Bruins Tuesday in the RHS season-opener on Kiwanis Field at the Bray Sports Complex.
Rock Bridge falls to 2-1. The Bruins, who finished third in the Missouri Class 3 State Tournament last season, were ranked No. 19 in this week's NCSA Fab 50 national poll.
The Bruins were without two players and head coach Alex Nichols due to red-card incidents in Kansas City over the weekend.
"Rock Bridge has a very strong team and any mistake you make you are put into instant trouble," said RHS head coach Mike Howard. "I was pleased with how we responded after going down two goals to such a solid team; we showed great character."
On Tuesday Rock Bridge scored just five minutes into the game, when junior midfielder Stefan Mitchell scored off a corner kick.
Froehlich tied the game up 14 minutes later, scoring in front of the net off a pass from senior midfielder Austin Parks.
Sophomore forward Tyler Tarnue scored just two minutes later to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead, which stood at halftime.
Just 30 seconds into the second half Tarnue would find the net again to make it 3-1.
The Bulldogs began their comeback quickly, as Froehlich would score two more goals over the next six minutes to shock the Bruins and force overtime.
The first RHS second-half goal came at the 46-minute mark off a pass from senior forward Hunter Short and the next 50 seconds later off a serve from senior defender Nate Kramme.
Neither team would score again, sending the game into overtime.
And just three minutes into the extra period Froehlich, a returning all-stater who netted 66 goals in 2012, took a corner kick from senior midfielder Logan Houf and scored the game-winner.
Senior Gage Scurlock was in goal for RHS.
"We made some mistakes, obviously, in giving up three goals. But they have scored three goals in each of their three games this season against strong teams, so I am not sure we played that bad. The mistakes we did make are fixable and hopefully this will help us improve as the season goes on.
"It's a good way to start the season, but it is just that...the start of the season. We all remember last year and we want another shot at that quarterfinal game."
Rock Bridge coasted to a 5-0 victory in the junior varsity game.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to play again at 4 p.m. Monday in the first round of the Pacific Tournament.