After a tough loss on Saturday, Hickman wasted no time in returning to its winning ways.
The Kewpies defeated Hazelwood Central 20-2 at Cosmopolitan Park on Sunday.
Hickman (7-3) was in charge from the start. Midfielder Mike Moesel won the opening faceoff and took the ball down field for an unassisted goal.
Chris Hurst scored on an assist from J.J. Bennett minutes later. Moesel assisted attacker Zach Nikin on the next possession, giving the Kewpies a 3-0 advantage five minutes into the game.
The fired-up Kewpies looked completely different than the team that Hickman coach Jamie Mullen called complacent in a 9-8 loss to Vianney on Saturday.
“We just had to make up for yesterday,” Hurst said. “We weren’t pleased with the way we played, so we wanted to come out with a fire and prove that yesterday was a fluke and we’re really a good team.”
Hurst stayed in on the crease, putting pressure on Hawks goalie Joe Lucido. Several times, Hurst wound up behind the Hazelwood Central (3-5) defense.
Moesel found Hurst from midfield for a one-on-one transition goal in the first quarter.
Hurst’s play in the crease created opportunities for the rest of Hickman’s attack.
Caleb Bohlmeyer scored three goals for Hickman. Two of Bohlmeyer’s goals came when Hurst passed back from the crease.
Nikin also made the most of his opportunities, leading the Kewpies with five goals.
Nikin fired a shot past Lucido in the closing minutes, putting an exclamation point on the Kewpies’ emotionally charged win.
“I think that we played hard the whole game,” Nikin said. “We came out and started beating them pretty bad, but we kept it up for most of the game. We didn’t want to slow down and let them get back.”
Mullen was not at the game to see Hickman’s return to form. Assistant coach Joel Henning filled in Mullen, earning his first win as a head coach.
Henning said he was pleased with Hickman’s turnaround.
“Any time you have a close loss, you want to bounce back and try to improve,” Henning said. “I feel like we did that today. Everybody was playing well. We came out from the faceoff and started pumping the goals in, but it wasn’t just the goals.
“The defense and everything was clicking much better today than yesterday. That’s what we want. We want to improve day to day.”