COLUMBIA — Chuck Wilson was bored.
The junior goalkeeper from Hickman was barely needed Saturday in the Kewpies 7-0* trouncing of Smith-Cotton High School in the opening round of the Class 3, District 9 soccer tournament.
Wilson did not face a shot on goal until catching a soft header in the 71st minute of the match. For the entire first half and the majority of the second, the goalie stood waiting for action that never seemed to come in his direction.
Wilson’s knows his boredom was a good thing for his team. The Hickman offense controlled the ball in the Smith-Cotton zone for most of the first half, scoring two goals.
“Today was one of the best games we’ve played this year,” Hickman coach Adam Taylor said. “We didn’t score as many goals in the first half, but I was more pleased with the first half play.”
The Kewpies put the pressure on their opponent immediately. Junior Brian Willcox headed in a goal off of a corner kick in the third minute of the game. Junior Connor Hollrah added another before the half. Hickman, constantly in attack mode, tacked on four insurance goals in the final 40 minutes, including two by junior Colin Janicek.
While the Smith-Cotton goalie spent his time diving for shots and doing anything he could to keep Hickman from continuing to score, Wilson kept himself busy by fixing his gloves and shin-guards. He did everything from stretching to jumping up and down to stay loose.
“Sometimes I actually wanted them (his defense) to let a ball through so I could play and have some fun,” Wilson said. “That’s the part of goalie that you don’t like.”
Wilson said it would have been easy to allow his mind to wander throughout the match, maybe think about his plans for Halloween. Instead, Wilson’s role shifted from defending goals to directing the play in front of him. He became an on-the-field coach, yelling directions to the other players.
“I try to talk to my players as much as I can so I can stay in it,” Wilson said. “I help direct them where to go, tell them if there’s a man on them.”
Taylor said the team needed the guidance of its goalie. Wilson can inform players which way to turn with the ball when they can’t see the defender.
“You got to make sure he’s (Wilson) in the game on every play, watching,” Taylor said. “He needs to be a leader back there. As much as he can talk and communicate with his back line to make sure that they’re into the game helps a lot.”
Wilson and the Kewpies have a tougher challenge ahead of them. The victory Saturday moves Hickman into the semifinals of the district tournament, where they will meet No. 1 seeded Rock Bridge. Taylor hopes the momentum from Saturday will carry over to Tuesday night.
“We wanted to dominate this game from start to finish,” Taylor said. “I wanted to dominate this game to give our guys some confidence going into Tuesday night.”
Taylor said in order to beat the Bruins, Hickman needs to stay sharp mentally on the defensive end. Most goals they have allowed have been direct results of mental mistakes. The rivals will faceoff at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Hickman.