COLUMBIA — Since being hired as coach of the Hickman High School boys soccer team in June, Wil Ross eagerly anticipated his home coaching debut at LeMone Field. When that time finally came, his team made it a moment he won't soon forget.
Hickman opened its 2014 home campaign Tuesday night by defeating the Jefferson City Jays 2-1. It was Ross' first home win as a head coach after being promoted from an assistant role.
"This was a very solid win for us," Ross said. "We’ve had a lot struggles putting in goals when we've gotten good opportunities."
Although the game was deadlocked early on, there were numerous chances from both sides. Hickman dominated possession early with the first five shots on goal. On the fifth shot, Hickman's Nathan Haile scored with 4:03 left in the first half. But Jefferson City responded with a Jordan Carron goal just 35 seconds later on his team's first shot on goal.
Hickman's Jacob Gunn and Jefferson City's Zach Brooks delivered strong goalkeeping performances to start the second half, and the game appeared headed for a 1-1 tie. With 6:16 left, Tyler Robinson scored the game-winning goal with a shot to the bottom-right corner of the net.
"It was cool scoring such a big goal in front of all these fans," Robinson said. "We usually don't have that many people here, so it was cool to give them something to look forward to for the rest of our season."
The loss sent Jefferson City to 0-2.
Hickman, which is now 3-2, plays at noon Saturday at Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School. The Kewpies' next home game is Sept. 16 against Rock Bridge High School.
"I think our guys have a good head about themselves right now," Ross said. "I tell them a lot at practice that we're only focused on the next opponent. We're good at not looking past anybody, and it's all about MICDS in the next game."
Supervising editor is Erik Hall.