JEFFERSON CITY — Hickman got what it wanted: An end to Camdenton’s season.
The Hickman boys’ soccer team won in Class 3 sectional competition Tuesday night defeating Camdenton 2-1 in overtime at the Art Firley Soccer Complex in Jefferson City.
Tuesday’s game wasn’t the first time the Kewpies faced the Lakers in overtime. In the last game of the regular season, Hickman was tied at 1 with Camdenton before falling in penalty kicks.
The loss spurred a running joke that has lasted through the Kewpies' playoff run: “End teams’ seasons.” What started as a joke has turned into a goal, according to senior forward George Plakorus.
“We just want to send 'em home,” Plakorus said. “We like being able to continue practicing while they are sitting at home.”
During the postseason, beating teams that have previously defeated the Kewpies in the regular season has become a trend. All five opponents the Kewpies faced thus far in the postseason had won regular season games against Hickman.
“We know how team’s play now after seeing them the first time,” junior goalkeeper Chuck Wilson said. “We make our game plans to cope with how they played before.”
Wilson did not want the game to go to penalty kicks again.
“(The tie) was the same scenario as last time, but we pulled it out this time," Wilson said. “We practiced penalty kicks, but going into PK’s is something you never want to do. So we picked it up, played hard, and finished it early.”
The Kewpies struck first in the 25th minute when Brian Willcox crossed the ball from the left side to Alex Holliday who was standing in the box ready to put it in.
Despite carrying the 1-0 lead deep into the second half, the Kewpies style of play was noticeably different.
“We played a little too cautious in the second half and quit playing possession soccer,” Kewpies coach Adam Taylor said. "I don’t’ know where that came from, but we kind of played to protect the lead in the second half and it came back to bite us in the butt.”
The bite came in the 69th minute when Camdenton senior Jeff Dorhauer slipped through the defense and tied it up.
Plakorus attributes the change in play to fatigue.
“We lost our nerves a little bit, got too excited for the finish,” Plakorus said. “The last two games were really emotional and it took a lot out of us … After we scored, we kind of broke down a little, started just kicking it around. That’s not how we need to play to win.”
Camdenton’s goal was the first allowed by the Kewpies this postseason.
“I told these guys at practice this week there was going to come a time when somebody is going to score on you in this tournament, and you are going to have to handle some adversity, and we did that tonight," Taylor said.
Plakorus scored the winning goal just 3:30 into the first 15-minute overtime period after making a cut to the box and sending the ball to the far post.
The Kewpies (13-8-2) advance to the Class 3 state quarterfinals to play Kickapoo (19-7), which they lost to 2-1 during the regular season. The match begins at 1 p.m. at Waynesville High School.