Vance leads Lady Jays to soccer win

Jefferson City's Sarah Luebbert takes the ball away from Rock Bridge's Ronni Farid during Tuesday's game.

Jefferson City's Sarah Luebbert takes the ball away from Rock Bridge's Ronni Farid during Tuesday's game. Photo by Kile Brewer.

It was the kind of game that might spark a player.

Jefferson City sophomore Natalie Vance scored both of the Lady Jays’ goals in the second half Tuesday night in a 2-0 victory against the Rock Bridge Bruins at the 179 Soccer Park.

“Natalie kind of needed to break the seal in a big moment in a big way,” Lady Jays coach Eddie Horn said. “Maybe this will get her going for the second half of the season, that was really solid for her.”

Horn said the opening half wasn’t the best 40 minutes Jefferson City had played this season.

“We were really flat, we didn’t play very inspired and you think that wouldn’t happen because of the tradition we have in games against Rock Bridge,” Horn said. “We just kind of played.”

But Jefferson City turned up the intensity in the second half.

“From the beginning of the half, I think we took the game over,” Horn said. “I don’t think they had anything dangerous.”

Both of Vance’s goals were started by solid plays by Kaley Ruff.

The first came eight minutes into the second half. Ruff hit a corner kick toward the Rock Bridge net, where Sarah Luebbert flicked the ball to Vance for the score.

With the way the Lady Jays’ defense was playing, it looked like one goal would likely be enough for the win.

“It’s a credit to our backline and our midfielders that they could never get through,” Horn said.

Jefferson City added an insurance goal with less than four minutes remaining. Ruff found an open Brianna Lock down the sideline and the junior centered a pass to Vance for the score.

“We had a 1-0 lead late, so there was no reason to throw it in there on a 50-50 ball,” Horn said. “But they quit trailing Lock and Ruff hit a nice pass to her and Lock then hit it across with a great serve to Vance.”

Becca Sturgess was in net for Jefferson City’s fourth straight shutout and seventh overall on the season.

“It was a great night, but in the big picture, it wasn’t our best effort,” Horn said.

Jefferson City (8-1-1, ranked No. 5 in Class 3) is back in action Thursday at Battle. The junior varsity game will start at 5 p.m., with the varsity to follow around 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday’s junior varsity game ended scoreless. Megan Foster in goal for Jefferson City (7-2).

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