COLUMBIA — After the first two home games of the season, the Hickman girls soccer team is still searching for answers.
The Kewpies fell 3-0 to Blue Springs South on Saturday morning at Robert M. LeMone Field.
Hickman (3-4-1) began the game with the sense of urgency the team lacked in Friday night's loss to Lindbergh, assistant coach Adam Taylor said , but an early goal by the Jaguars seemed to deflate the Kewpies’ confidence.
“When you get down 0-3, it’s hard to regain the energy level you had to begin the game,” assistant coach Will Ross said.
Taylor said the team, which has six freshmen, is still looking for the right chemistry. The process is made more difficult in the absence of head coach Tony Gragnani. Gragnani, who is taking classes for his master’s degree this weekend, missed the majority of Friday night’s game against Lindbergh and the entire game against Blue Springs South.
Ross said the most important factor in the team’s development is continuity.
“We’ve been tinkering with different formations and putting players in different positions,” Ross said. “The players just need more time to get used to playing with each other.”
There are signs of progress. Taylor said he’s noticed the freshmen are slowly adjusting to the increased physicality and faster pace of high school soccer. For now, however, they said they're focusing on improving game by game.
The coaches said they hope next week brings the return of starting goalkeeper sophomore Emily Miller. Miller, last season's regional goalkeeper of the year, sat out Saturday with concussion-like symptoms suffered in Friday night's loss.
The Kewpies’ next game is against Rock Bridge at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hickman High School.