JEFFERSON CITY — Hickman couldn’t hold back the tears.
The Kewpies lost 1-0 to Jefferson City on Wednesday night in the Class 3 District 10 championship at the 179 Soccer Complex. No. 1 seeded Jefferson City (12-9-1) advances to the sectional tournament Tuesday in Jefferson City.
The loss was a heartbreaker for the No. 2 Kewpies (15-6-5). Their disappointment could be seen on the sidelines after the game and Kewpies coach Jon Strodtman had to calm the disappointed team.
“It’s a sad time for the boys,” Strodtman said. “Anytime you lose to Jeff City it’s tough, and anytime you lose the district championship it’s tough. They just lost their composure after the game.”
Dustin Dolce scored the winning goal in the 40th minute.
Players from both teams packed the box as Dolce set up for a corner kick from the left side. No one touched the high, arching kick, though, as it fell one-yard in front of the goal and bounced high into the top right corner of the net.
Jefferson City coach Eddie Horn said scoring was the team’s biggest challenge.
“We felt if we got a goal in we could be hard to deal with.” Horn said. “It was whoever got a break and fortunately we got a break.”
The Jays struggled early in the game with field conditions. Four times in the first half Jefferson City forwards slipped on the offensive end while setting up to take a shot.
The Kewpies defensive efforts, lead by senior Frank Foss, contributed to the low score. Foss, a sweeper, fought off the Jays’ repeated offensive attacks and continually distributed the ball upfield.
“We had so many opportunities,” Foss said. “We could have put so many of those balls in the goal. We tried to do too much too fast.”
Jefferson City said it felt lucky to win.
“Tonight was kind of our night,” Horn said. “Look at the goal that we scored. I really feel in my heart if it was in the second half and we had that ball, it doesn’t go in because the wind was blowing in and it was a swinging ball.”
Chris Kirkweg recorded the shutout.
The Jays, who began the season with only three returning starters and started six players who had never played varsity, might be inspirational for Hickman. The Kewpies will graduate 12 players and and two juniors will return home to Thailand.