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Kewpies send Tigers to the pits

Hickman uses home-field edge in shutout of Smith-Cotton.
Wednesday, September 7, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:04 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

The field dug into the ground at Cosmopolitan Park is affectionately known to the Hickman soccer players as “The Pit.”

And on Tuesday night, “The Pit” was rocking as students and parents came out to watch Hickman trounce Smith-Cotton 4-0.

The field is one of the best in the area, according to coach John Strodtman.

“We’re very lucky to play on such a nice pitch, that means a lot to the kids,” he said. “It’s very nice to play on such a large, smooth pitch, and when you do score, that’s when you notice the crowd.”

“The Pit” is a sodded turf field, dug into the ground for irrigation purposes. The field is sunken in the ground with a small ditch surrounding it for run-off rainwater. The stadium is surrounded by fencing, which fans can sit up against as they on the grassy hill that lays on one side of the stadium. Cheerleaders lead the crowd in rooting for the Kewpies. Parents and boosters run a stocked concession stand, where $3 buys a cheeseburger, chips and a drink.

On Tuesday night, about 150 fans watched the Kewpies strike early and often against the Smith-Cotton Tigers — they jumped out to a 3-0 halftime lead.

Consistent through-balls and well-timed runs made by the Kewpies’ midfield and forwards provided goals by senior midfielder Eric Miedema, junior midfielder Kofi Bempah and senior forward Jordan Cox.

A stingy, aggressive defense led by senior defenders Omeed Latifi and Gabe Widmer and junior defender Aliou Coulibaly held the Tigers at bay and limited their shot total.

The offensive onslaught continued in the second half, with a goal scored by sophomore forward Eric Camden and several close misses off corners and headers.

Cox said the offensive pressure was critical to the Kewpies’ success.

“We had high pressure the whole game,” he said. “We caused them to make mistakes, which turned into goals. We felt they’d collapse and make mistakes.”

Strodtman was pleased with his team’s effort.

“The goals we got were good goals,” he said. “The kids scored on stuff we want them to do.”

The Kewpies look to continue their offensive productivity when they return to Cosmo Park on Thursday to play Hannibal.

Cox appreciates the home-field advantage the Kewps get from Cosmo Park and believes it’s something they can take advantage of throughout the season.

“It’s a lot better and more fun,” he said. “You just get more excited when you play here.”


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