WAYNESVILLE — After a 10-year absence from the state semifinals, the Hickman girls’ soccer team is back in the spotlight and coach Sandy Paulsen couldn’t be happier.
The Kewpies defeated the Glendale Falcons 3-0 in the Class 2 quarterfinals Saturday at Tiger Pride Park.
The Kewpies will play Ursuline Academy (19-2-3) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday in Fenton.
Hickman’s confidence was evident from the beginning.
The Kewpies had 10 shots on goal, and the Falcons had none.
The Kewpies (20-3-1) used a combination of accurate passing and teamwork to dominate the Falcons (15-7-3).
Senior Jodi Bolerjack scored twice.
“We’ve played this team once before so we kind of knew what their style was,” Bolerjack said. “So, we knew if we passed with the feet and got it to the corner, that we would eventually get goals in.”
Bolerjack gave Hickman the lead and freshman Caitlin Keith’s goal made it 2-0 at the end of the first half.
Bolerjack scored the Kewpies’ third goal five minutes into the second half.
Paulsen, who will retire from coaching and teaching at Hickman at the end of the season, smiled broadly after giving her team a day off from practice Monday during the postgame celebration.
Hickman has won five district and three sectional championships in Paulsen’s 16 years.
“When the midfield starts passing with their feet and using the defense to pass back, it really works,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen said the Kewpies’ defenders worked hard to keep the Falcons’ Heidi Bushman in check.
“The defense was there when we needed them,” Paulsen said.
To prepare for the semifinals, Bolerjack said they will continue to do a lot of passing and moving with out the ball.
“That’s been our bread and butter all year” Bolerjack said.
Bolerjack and Keith said they believe the Kewpies can advance to the finals.
“I think we’re just going to play our game and hopefully everything will turn out,” Bolerjack said.