In its first home game of the season, the Hickman girls’ soccer team recorded its fourth shutout in five games with a 3-0 win against Pembroke Hill on Tuesday night.
Despite cold and breezy weather, the Kewpies dominated possession for most of the game, allowing only a few shots on goal from the visiting team. As fans shivered under hoods and blankets, senior Kelsey McClure shed her purple team jacket and hooded sweatshirt to practice her corner kick. She said that though the ball stung a little bit more, her team was quick to warm up, much like they have been so far this season.
“It was the best (game) we’ve had,” she said. “We’ve improved from game one all the way up to here. I think we’ll continue to work well together and the passing game’s going to stay.”
Hickman coach Jon Strodtman said the cold weather might have been an advantage for his team.
“There were a couple times I saw Pemboke step in front of the ball and I know it stung. I know it did,” he said. “And maybe next time they might not want to step in front of you.”
Despite the lopsided possession, there were a few Hickman opportunities that didn’t make it in the net.
“They had shots available that they didn’t take,” Strodtman said. “But they weren’t taking stupid shots.”
Junior Caitlin Keith said the game was “definitely a fair indicator” of what the rest of the season is going to look like.
“We have pretty good possession,” she said. “We passed a lot and we made a lot of through balls so it was pretty easy.”
Keith scored Hickman’s first goal early in the first half. McClure followed with a goal in the 35th minute and senior Brittany Sharp clenched the win with eight minutes left in the game.
Strodtman said he wasn’t concerned with the statistics of the game, however. He said what mattered most was how the team played.
“Someone can say, ‘That’s a great pass,’ but if it didn’t go to anybody, then it doesn’t matter,” he said. “What’s important is connecting with the pass. I think we played a great game. We really connected today.”
Although he was happy with his team’s commanding presence, Strodtman acknowledged that it was still early in the season.
“That game’s history,” he said. “If you don’t make it past Districts then you have nothing. Win, lose or draw, you have to get better every game.”