COLUMBIA — For years, there was only one high school lacrosse team in Columbia, the Columbia Lacrosse Club.
Then Rock Bridge decided to start their own team, and the Columbia Lacrosse Club broke into separate Hickman and Rock Bridge clubs.
Since 2003, the two teams have fostered their crosstown rivalry by playing for the Golden Crosse, a gold-painted lacrosse stick, in their second meeting of the season each year.
This year’s match was also senior night for both teams, making it even more important to both teams.
Entering Friday night’s Golden Crosse Match, Hickman had never lost a varsity match to Rock Bridge and had won all five Golden Crosse Matches in the history of the rivalry.
And the Kewpies’ 18 seniors were determined not to let that streak end in their last career game against the Bruins, using stingy defense and goalkeeping to win the Golden Crosse Match, 6-2.
“It’s kind of a tradition around Hickman,” senior goalie Dan Hurst said. “We’ve never not had it, and I’d be damned if I let them have it my senior year.”
Hickman’s defense had a size advantage over Rock Bridge, and they used it to their advantage with hard checking, limiting Rock Bridge’s shots. However, that defensive aggression also worked against the Kewpies, because they were called for eight penalties in the first half alone.
Because of the penalties, Hickman was forced to play much of the game a man down. With his team on the defensive, Hurst stepped up, recording 14 saves.
“He really kept us in this game.” coach Jamie Mullen said. “He played one of the best games I thought he has played in his career.”
Mullen was happy with his team’s defensive aggression despite the penalties.
“They are a senior defense so they know the drill,” Mullen said. “It’s really turned out to be the strongest aspect of our team this year and they did a great job of shutting out their shooters.”
Senior Nick Stohlgren led the Hickman offense with two goals. Seniors Andy Messenger, Thomas Eckles, Mason Poage, and Logan Parker each added one goal.
Parker had a goal waved off early in the first quarter because he was playing with an illegal stick. The head of the stick that Parker started the game with was too wide.
For Rock Bridge, senior Eric Hall and sophomore Tony Bradshaw each scored one goal.
With the win, Hickman moved to 8-4 and put themselves in position to earn a playoff berth.