Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kewpies strike first, hold on against Bruins

Hickman to play Jeff City for district title

By Andrew Wagaman
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Class 3 District 9
Hickman 1, Rock Bridge 0
Jefferson City 1, Troy Buchanan 0
Jefferson City at Hickman, 6 p.m.

Photo by Parker Eshelman
Hickman’s George Plakorus is congratulated by teammate Koby Meyer after scoring the winning goal in Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over Rock Bridge.

Many of the Hickman soccer players walked off the field stonefaced after 80 minutes of a Class 3 District 9 semifinal game against top-seeded Rock Bridge on LeMone Field.

Even after securing a 1-0 upset of their crosstown rivals, the Kewpies seemed to maintain the tunnel-vision focus that they used to stifle the Bruins.

“They came to play,” Hickman Coach Adam Taylor said. “I preached to them that if they played the way I asked them to, they’d come out with a victory tonight, and they did exactly what I wanted them to do.”

If one of Taylor’s requests to his defense was to deny the opposing attack mentally as well as physically, they surely listened. Hickman (11-8-2) had the unenviable task of playing with a 1-0 lead for 74 minutes, but the confident backs played like they were used to protecting leads against Rock Bridge (13-9), which won the first meeting this season 2-1.

“Our intensity was really high,” goalie Chuck Wilson said. “We talked a lot — our communication was great tonight. We played like one team.”

As the desperate Bruins vigorously attacked in the second half, Logan Forsythe and Koby Meyer countered the speed and agility of Rock Bridge players such as Rhys McCracken and George Baird with their size. When the Bruins managed to get open and take shots, Wilson anticipated every one.

“I was trying to keep the ball in front of me as much as I could,” he said. “It was coming at me left and right nonstop the second half.”

Cognizant of the Bruins’ tendency to capitalize on headers and long crosses, Taylor emphasized outfighting them in the air.

“We knew their strategy was to send the ball in the air to the far post,” he said. “I preached to them that if we win the ball in the air we would win the game.”

Almost lost in the suspense surrounding the second half was George Plakorus’ odd goal six minutes into the game. Rock Bridge’s early anxiousness led to numerous Hickman free kicks. Plakorus sent one — a line drive that was meant for forward Matthew Baker — a little left of where Baker meant to head it. He inadvertently blocked goalie Brady Wulff’s line of sight, allowing Plakorus’ kick to roll uncontested into the far left corner. At the other end of the field, Wilson was confused by what he’d seen.

“I was like, ‘Is anybody going to get that?’ ” he said. “I saw the other goalie standing still. I was amazed. I did not expect it to go in.”

After the first 10 minutes, and especially in the second half, Rock Bridge Coach Kyle Austin felt his team outplayed the Kewpies.

“We created a number of opportunities for ourselves,” he said. “We had two balls on our forwards’ feet inside the 18 and neither one could make good solid contact. Ironically, we played better this time against them than over at our place when we beat them.”

As time passed, the Bruins became progressively frustrated, leading to an extremely physical second half. At one point Wilson was bodyslammed out of bounds as he collected the ball.

“We talked about that a halftime,” Taylor said. “I said, ‘The last 20 minutes they’re going to be coming at you, and you need to keep your composure because you can’t give them free pieces outside the box.’ ”

Fourth-seeded Hickman bottled the momentum it gained from a 7-0 quarterfinal victory over Smith-Cotton on Saturday. Taylor hopes that his team does not drain all of it before the district final against second-seeded Jefferson City at 6 p.m. tomorrow. The Jays (10-5-3) beat Troy Buchanan 1-0 last night in the semifinals.

This article was published on page B1 of the Wednesday, November 4, 2009 edition of The Columbia Daily Tribune. Click here to Subscribe.

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Driving Directions

  • WAYNESVILLE : Take 63 South Towards Jeff City. Take US-54 W thru Osage Beach to Camdenton. Take MO Hwy 5 South to Lebanon , MO.Continue on MO Hwy 5 South to I-44 E towards Waynesville, MO. Take Exit 156, toward WAYNESVILLE/FORT LEONARD WOOD. Turn LEFT onto HIGHWAY H/I-44-BL/MO-H. Continue to follow I-44-BL.Turn RIGHT onto MO-17/W I-44-BL.1001 HISTORIC 66 W.
  • QUINCY TOURNAMENT IN QUINCY ILLINOIS: From Columbia Take 70 West to Kingdom City. Take 54 North to Mexico and then 54 east and north (54/19) to Laddonia. From Laddonia take 19 North to New London and then 61 North to Hannibal. When you get to Hannibal, you will need to take a right at the sign that says Quincy or to Illinois or to Springfield which is hwy 72 across the river. You will then pick up Highway 172 north to Quincy. In Quincy take the Broadway exit and go left.The fields we are playing on are located on State Street. The streets in Quincy that run West to East are numbered streets. The Mississippi River is to the West and the street numbers get higher the further East you go. When you enter from highway 172 the first street you will see is 48th street. Go left. At State St turn right and the park is a few blocks on the right. The Paul Dennis Complex is located on State between 36th and 48th street.
  • JEFFERSON CITY- 179 SOCCER PARK: Take 63 to Jeff City. Across the river take Hwy 50 toward Sedalia. Take the hwy 179 exit and turn right onto 179. The soccer park is about 3 miles on your left.
  • DESMET High school from CBC High school (about 3 miles): leave CBC and turn left (east) onto N Forty Dr. Turn right onto Conway Rd. Follow Conway Rd to left at S New Ballas Rd and it is about 1.2 miles to the high school at 233 N. New Ballas Rd.
  • CBC High school in St Louis: about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Take I-70 east to US40E/US61S just past Wentzville. Head toward Chesterfield/Forrest Park. About 23 miles to Mason Rd exit. Take S Mason Rd north back over the highway. Turn right on N. Forty Dr and the high school is on your left about a mile at 1850 De la Salle Dr.
  • CAMDENTON: Hwy 54 out of Jeff City to Hwy 5 in Camdenton. Turn left (east) on to Hwy 5. Continue on Hwy 5 for 5 or 6 blocks and can see the school campus on your left (north side of road). Turn on to Dare Blvd and the stadium is a block or two behind the schools.
  • SMITHTON TOURNAMENT: I-70 west to Booneville. Exit on Hwy 5 south. From Hwy 5 take Hwy 50 west. Go to Hwy W and turn south. Follow Hwy W into Smithton. Turn east on to E. Washington St. (I think this is a continuation of Hwy W), Turn right (south) on to Myrtle Ave and the school is 550 Myrtle Ave. Games are at the school.
  • ROLLA: Hwy 63 out of Jefferson City. Continue on Hwy 63 into Rolla. Turn left (east) on to 10th St. Continue on 10th St about 8 blocks to N. Cedar St. High School is at corner of N. Cedar and 10th St. Soccer field is behind the high school.