COLUMBIA — The Hickman girls soccer team encountered a pair of setbacks on an overcast and drizzly Saturday afternoon.
After easily advancing past the first round of the Hickman Soccer Tournament with a 3-0 shutout against Pembroke Hill on Friday night, Hickman (9-6-1) fell 1-0 to Helias Catholic in the second-round.
The loss ended a six-game winning streak, during which the Kewpies outscored their opponents 21-1. The game also marked the first time the team went scoreless since April 6.
In the tournament's third-place game, the Kewpies lost 1-0 to the Bruins, a team they had beaten earlier in the week.
“We just didn’t play well,” Hickman coach Tony Gragnani said Saturday. “We didn’t show up to play. We didn’t show up mentally.”
The steady drizzle seemed to impact the speed of the game. Standard passes careened out of bounds on the slick turf and a routine save slid off the fingers of sophomore goalkeeper Emily Miller against Helias.
Gragnani said his team has to learn how to adjust to the conditions.
“Helias had to play in this weather. Rock Bridge had to play in this weather,” he said. “The weather wasn’t the problem and shouldn’t be used as an excuse.”
Fatigue also became a factor. Having played six games in eight days, the Kewpies’ usually dominant offensive attack slowed. With a little more than two weeks until the beginning of district playoffs, the coaches’ primary concern is health.
“We’re kind of beat up,” assistant coach Will Ross said. “We have a lot of nicks and bruises. After a really competitive game against Rock Bridge on Wednesday and another today, it just took a lot out of us.”
Hickman has three days to rest before its next game at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Rock Bridge. Ross said he has no doubt his players will get their energy up for the game.
“Playing your rival three times in eight days is always fun,” he said. “We have a lot of young players with short-term memory loss. We’re going to wipe the slate clean and start again on Monday.”