Hickman coach Jon Strodtman’s first win against Rock Bridge was a special one.
The Kewpies defeated the Bruins 1-0 on Monday night in Jefferson City to advance to the championship of the Class 3 District 10 Soccer Tournament. No. 2 seeded Hickman plays No. 1 Jefferson City at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Helias for the title.
The Kewpies (15-5-5) split a pair of games with the Bruins (19-6) earlier this year. Strodtman was not on the sidelines for the victory, though, because of his health.
Hickman’s John Sarrazin beat Rock Bridge goalkeeper Tanner Mills from short range in the 47th minute for the winning goal.
Rock Bridge coach David Graham said the tireless Kewpies outworked the Bruins.
“We didn’t have that much intensity tonight,” Graham said. “We acted like it was our right to win the game rather than the fact that we had to work to win. I think as a team we didn’t work as hard as we could have worked.”
There were few scoring opportunities in the first half.
A crossing pass from Daniel Schmidt to a cutting Daniel Weagley set up Hickman’s first chance in the seventh minute. Mills’ diving save kept it scoreless.
The Bruins struggled all night to get past Hickman goalkeeper Drew Huckla.
Rock Bridge’s Nate Wax, a midfielder, tried to set up Michael Ferguson, who was trying to break the Bruins single season scoring record, but Huckla came out of the goal to intercept the pass.
The Bruins threatened again in the 46th minute, but Huckla intercepted a center by the Bruins’ Marco Pagoada. The ball popped loose, but the Bruins still couldn’t capitalize.
“(Huckla) did a wonderful job,” Strodtman said. “Everybody worked hard; Sarrazin was under the weather, but he got the goal.”
Huckla complimented his defense for shutting down the Bruins’ speed.
“They paid attention and talked to each other,” Huckla said. “They were really good tonight.”
Strodtman said depth assisted the Kewpies and possibly was the answer to the Bruins’ speed.
“I don’t have any all-state players, but I’ve got 18 starters,” Strodtman said. “I can keep rotating them in to get fresh legs in there all the time.
“Ferguson is top quality, but he didn’t hurt us tonight.”