Senior Midfielder Andy Mackley did not consult his doctor before stepping onto the field at Cosmopolitan Park on Wednesday. Hickman was glad he didn’t.
Mackley jump-started the Kewpies’ attack in Hickman’s 11-2 victory against Shawnee Mission.
Back in the game
Mackley had missed two weeks of play because of facial injuries from a dog bite. Mackley had emergency plastic surgery on his left cheek, which the bite punctured.
When asked if his doctor had cleared him to play, Mackley flashed a guilty smile.
“I haven’t really talked to him about it yet,” Mackley said. “He said I could start practicing this week, so I kind of figured I’d be all right. I was really pumped up to play because I hadn’t played in awhile.”
Mackley made the most of his return, scoring two goals and two assists in the first half.
He intercepted a pass from Shawnee Mission’s Andrew Butin and found attacker Zach Nikin in transition for a Hickman goal in the first quarter.
Mackley scored unassisted minutes later. He shook off Shawnee Mission defenders Cyrus Rasnavad and Michael Hannan to find a clear path to the goal.
Hickman coach Jamie Mullen said Mackley’s return was a boost to the whole team.
“It’s huge relief for the coaching staff especially,” Mullen said. “When he was injured I put it out of my mind and we just played the game, but seeing him back on the field today I know he just makes such a difference. He’s a playmaker. He’s a guy who can take it to the goal and score and create plays.”
A team effort
The rest of the Kewpies followed Mackley’s example. Midfielder Zach Graham, who filled in during Mackley’s absence, continued to contribute. Graham scored two goals, with assists from Mike Moesel on both. Nikin and Moesel also scored twice for Hickman.
The Kewpies capitalized on Shawnee Mission (5-5) lapses and penalties.
Shawnee Mission defender Collin Hull slashed Moesel in the third quarter, resulting in a Hickman man-up advantage. Making the most of the advantage opportunity, Caleb Bohlmeyer scored on a cut to the crease, of an assist from attacker Chris Hurst.
With the win, Hickman (7-3) wraps up the home part of its season successfully. The Kewpies will spend the rest of the regular season on the road.
After a number of lopsided victories, five of Hickman’s victories have been by 10 points or more, Hickman expects to see some tougher opponents. Hickman travels to St. Louis this weekend to face St. Louis University High and Rockwood Summit.
Mullen says his team still needs work before it faces top opponents.
“We’ve played a lot of lesser opponents, so to speak,” Mullen said. “Managing the attitude, as I’ve said before, is the toughest part. I don’t think we did a good job of that today. We didn’t hustle, flat out. That’s not going to carry us.”