COLUMBIA — The Hickman boy's soccer team defeated Mehlville High School 2-1 in their first game of the Bruin Shootout.
The Shootout, which Rock Bridge assistant coach David Graham referred to as, "a tournament, but not a tournament," will take place this weekend between Rock Bridge, Hickman, Mehlville, Oak Park, Parkway Central and Springfield Catholic.
Missouri high school soccer teams can only play in three tournaments per season, and both Rock Bridge and Hickman have already participated in two. Both teams will also compete in the district tournament at the end of the season.
Despite its unofficial status, Hickman head coach Adam Taylor was pleased with the competition. “It’s nice to have these quality teams come to Columbia,” Taylor said.
Hickman contested the second game of the shootout in breezy conditions at Cosmopolitan Park where spectators were bundled up in hats, gloves and blankets.
Hickman never trailed in the game and took its first lead when sophomore Marcus Tigue scored inside the box from a play that started with a run by Scott Whitehill.
“Our focus was to be aggressive offensively, and I told our guys that our best defense is our offense,” Taylor said.
Tigue’s was the only goal of the first half and the Kewpies led Mehlville 1-0 at the break.
The Kewpies seemed slow to start the second half and Mehlville capitalized by evening the score.
Hickman regained its focus soon after and controlled the ball for the rest of the second half. The Kewpies had a good spell of possession and completed a string of passes, which eventually led to the go-ahead goal.
“We like the grass,” Taylor said. “ It allows our first touch to be a little slower which helps our possession. This is a great surface.”
Whitehill scored with less than five minutes remaining in the game and Mehlville was unable to convert on a few desperate chances.
“Tonight was our first game that we went the full 80 minutes and played our soccer,” Whitehill said. “We kept our momentum from the first half and finished strong in the second, and that is what got us the win.”