EDWARDSVILLEEdwardsville's boys soccer team didn't quite get the start they wanted against Columbia Rock Bridge at Tiger Stadium Tuesday night.

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The finish wasn't what they would have liked either.

In between, the Tigers certainly had their chances against the Bruins – one of the top teams in Missouri – but fell short as Rock Bridge held on for a 3-2 win.

The match was abandoned in the 79th minute after tempers flared between the two teams following a free kick. The incident was quickly cooled, but officials decided to bring the match to an early end.

Before then, Edwardsville had fallen behind 2-0 after the Bruins scored twice in the match's first seven minutes, the first one after Ryan Imhoff got the ball after a miscue near the Edwardsville penalty area and made no mistake in the first minute.

“At this point in the season, it's not acceptable,” said Tiger coach Mark Heiderschied, “but at the same time, it happens. It's midseason, not the playoffs, and it's a teachable moment.”

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Six minutes after that, the Bruins' Tarnue Tyler gained possesion and beat Tiger goalkeeper Trey Riley, and just like that, Rock Bridge was up 2-0.

The second goal served as a wake-up call for the Tigers, and they responded. “If complacency gets us in a hole,” Heiderschied said, “our work rate gets us out of it.”

They responded in the 36th minute when Alec Mills got a feed from Max Kieffer, came in and fired a shot that eluded Bruin goalkeeper Wilson Fitzgerald to cut the Bruin lead in half going into the long break.

“Edwardsville's a team that has a lot of heart,” said Bruin coach Scott Wittenborn. “They kept coming at us and taking the play to us.”

It didn't take long for the Bruins to get their two-goal lead back; it came in the 49th minute when Drew Stanowski, going wide, chipped the ball into the middle, where it found Sean Koetting. Koetting put the ball in the back of the net and Rock Bridge had a 3-1 lead.

The Tigers weren't going to go away though; in the 74th minute, Mills pulled EHS back to 3-2 when he scored to set up what looked like a thrilling finish.

It came in the 78th minute, when the Tigers had a free kick near the Bruin goal. The ball was kicked into the Bruin penalty area, but the Tigers couldn't convert. Some pushing and shoving then erupted between the two sides, but things were quickly broken up. Match officials, however, decided to end the game at that point.

The Tigers fell to 9-2-3 on the season while the Bruins went to 9-1-1. The Tigers travel to Normal to take on Normal Community in a Saturday match.

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