COLUMBIA — The Hickman girls' soccer team opened their season on home turf Friday night with a 4-1 win over Timberland.
Last year the Kewpies beat Timberland 2-0 to end a three-game losing streak. While senior goalkeeper Monica Ross didn’t have a shut-out performance, the win was still music to her ears.
Ross has played goalkeeper since her freshman year of high school. She says she plays because, though she likes to kick the ball, she likes working with her hands just as much. Maybe that’s why she recently started playing guitar.
Ross has played for no more than four months, but is not wasting any time. She started a band with a teammate who accompanies her vocally. Ross plays acoustic guitar for her newly formed band The Inmates.
Ross hasn’t taken any formal music lessons. Instead, she is teaching herself by memorizing chords and referring to online notes.
“When I first started I wanted to quit,” said Ross. “I just started by figuring out the chords and it got easier.” She now plays for a few hours every day, which she tacked onto her daily two-hour soccer practice.
While they have yet to write their own songs, the duo plays cover songs. One of their favorites is Beyonce’s “Halo.”
“We actually played a mini concert for the soccer team at the sleepover,” said Ross. The first Friday of tryouts it is a tradition for the team to host a sleepover with the JV and Varsity girls.
With playing guitar, Ross controls her abilities. It was easy to quit, and she stuck with it. That’s why she likes being goalkeeper. “I love knowing that I can save the game,” she said.
Each team remained scoreless in the first half. Sophomore forward Sami Purdy was the first to score after Timberland’s goalkeeper jumped to save the ball but dropped it, and it hit her shoulder, where she kicked it in for a goal.
Sophomore Jessie Loch launched a high kick that the Timberland goalkeeper fumbled to catch. Hickman’s Katie LaRue scored off of the dropped ball for the Kewpies' second goal less than a minute after the first.
Nicole Drenton and Loch scored one goal a piece for the Kewpies. Timberland’s Jordan McGovern Brown, a freshman, scored their only goal.
“Our team in the second half relaxed and played like we practiced,” said Kewpie coach Tony Gragnani. “We played aggressively on defense, connected on passes and found our groove. We’re working on playing more of a pressure style game.”
The Kewpies (1-0) play Nerinx tomorrow at 1 pm at Hickman High School.