Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Win over Rock Bridge advances Hickman to district boys soccer final

Hickman senior James Moesel, center, takes the ball past a group of Rock Bridge players in the Kewpies' 1-0 victory Tuesday in the Class 3 District 9 semifinals at Hickman. ¦ CHELSEA SEKTNAN/Missourian

COLUMBIA — All Hickman wanted was a rematch. On Tuesday, the fourth-seeded Kewpies got one and took advantage, hanging on to beat top-seeded Rock Bridge 1-0 in the Class 3, District 9 semifinals at Hickman. The Kewpies had lost to the Bruins 2-1 on Sept. 30.

Tuesday's winner came when HIckman senior George Plakorus scored from a free kick in the eighth minute on a botched cross to fellow senior, Matt Baker.

Rock Bridge forward C J Ross tries to push the ball past Hickman midfielder Matthew Baker and forward Taylor Cox in the Kewpies' 1-0 victory Tuesday in the Class 3 District 9 semifinals at Hickman.
“I noticed in other games that he (Baker) would make his run to the near post,” Plakorus said.
“So that is where I tried to put it to where, even if he missed it, it was on the goal. I guess he went to hit it, but he missed, and the keeper couldn’t get to it far-post. It’s good to get lucky.”

Hickman coach Adam Taylor didn’t think the goal enough to give his team a victory. Since he took over as head coach on Oct. 2, Taylor has added an extra forward to put pressure on the opposing teams and get some extra scoring opportunities.

“When coach Taylor took over he just gave us a little more freedom to shoot,” Plakorus said. “And that’s why he put that extra guy up top. It gives him more shots and more chances to finish.”

The extra pressure from the Kewpies in the first half was a completely different scenario for junior Rock Bridge goalkeeper, Brady Wulff. In the first matchup, Wulff didn’t face a single shot until the 38th minute. He faced five in the first nine minutes of Tuesday’s game.

Rock Bridge also created a lot of the Kewpies early opportunities with fouls. Rock Bridge coach Kyle Austin said it was something that hurt his team early on.

“They (Hickman) utilized their strengths and found feet and their skill players ran at us,” Austin said. “We had trouble with them for the first 10 minutes, but we gave up a few free kicks in our third (of the field), and it ultimately led to the goal. It was a kind of unlucky, soft goal, but sometimes a goal like that is all it takes.”

Taylor said the Kewpies' main goal was to score first and let the Bruins try to catch up.

“I preached to them for two straight days, and they ran the style of play I asked them to tonight,” Taylor said. “I told them that we had to score first and whenever that whistle blew, our goal was to score as quickly as possible, Fortunately we got that goal, and held on all night.”

Hickman almost didn’t get their shot at redemption, though. Going into the seeding meeting, the Kewpies and Troy Buchanan were deadlocked for the third seed, with Troy Buchanan ultimately getting the nod.

Austin said he was a little disappointed when they drew Hickman, thinking the Kewpies were better than Troy Buchanan. But with no head-to-head meetings or common opponents, it was hard to judge.

“Watching Troy play a couple times and playing Hickman and watching them play a couple of other times, I felt that Hickman was the vastly superior team,” Austin said, “But my opinion counts for only one of the five in the seeding meeting.”

Taylor said he thinks that drawing the lower seed and getting to play the extra game against Smith-Cotton (a 7-0 victory) was ultimately a big advantage for his team. Instead of coming out cold against the Bruins, his team got to warm up and get the feel for district competition.

“I was glad to take it (the No. 4 seed) so we could play Saturday, and get some extra momentum,” Taylor said. “It worked to our advantage. We got to feel district play first while they (the Bruins) got to wait for us. You can’t determine the voting because you can’t vote for yourself, but I was happy with it. "

Austin said he was happy with the way his team played, and that there was no shame in losing to Hickman, and thought they were a better team than their record or seed showed.

“They played some tough competition all season-long and hung tough, even with the coaching change and everything they went through. I always said I thought they were one of the better teams in the district, and here everybody has a chance.”

After the emotional win, Taylor said he still expects more in the district final on Thursday.

“I’m really proud of the guys, and they’ve fought hard the past couple of weeks, but we are in no means done.” Taylor said. “We have bigger things ahead of us. We’ll celebrate a little tonight, and even though its cliché, we’ll be back to working on things tomorrow.”

The Kewpies will face off against Jefferson City in the MSHSSA Class 3, District 9 championship
at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Robert M. Lemone Field at Hickman.
Rock Bridge forward C J Ross tries to push the ball past Hickman midfielder Matthew Baker and forward Taylor Cox in the Kewpies' 1-0 victory Tuesday in the Class 3 District 9 semifinals at Hickman.

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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.