The Hickman boys lacrosse team went from feeling elated Saturday afternoon to feeling, well, not so elated Sunday morning.
“We felt pretty lousy,” coach Jamie Mullen said after the Kewpies lost 8-7 to Springfield Sunday at Cosmopolitan Park. “It was a pretty big letdown.”
The Falcons (11-3), the No. 11 team in the LaxPower state rankings, scored with 23 seconds left to deflate the No. 7 Kewpies (11-5) just one day after the Kewpies upset of then-No. 4 Parkway South. Mullen said he had a feeling it was going to be hard to get his team ready to play on Sunday morning.
“We were on an emotional high from yesterday,” Mullen said. “I knew we were going to have trouble restarting this morning. Guys just weren’t as sharp and were dropping balls.”
Senior middie Kendell Eckles scored four times for the Kewpies, carrying the offensive load. After the Falcons scored twice in the opening three minutes of the fourth quarter, Eckles scored two to put Hickman up 7-6. However, Springfield closed on a 2-0 run to secure the victory.
With the loss to their Missouri Mid West conference opponent, Hickman missed an opportunity to gain ground in its effort to qualify for the postseason. However, Mullen said the Kewpies are still right in the thick of the playoff hunt.
“We still have one more conference game against Rock Bridge,” Mullen said. “There’s still lots to play for.”
The Kewpies meet the Bruins at 5 p.m. Friday at Cosmo Park.
Luckily for the Kewpies, No. 28 Parkway North (1-9) also visited Cosmo Park on Sunday. After Mullen told them to enjoy the sport and have fun, the Kewpies turned it around against the Vikings, winning 15-3.
“Beating Parkway North was very important,” Mullen said. “It’s another game under our belt before we play Rock Bridge and it takes some of the sting off the Springfield game.”
The Kewpies never trailed the Vikings starting on a 4-0 run in the first quarter. Two Viking goals were sandwiched between 4-0 and 8-0 runs by the Kewpies. Sophomore attackman Thomas Eckles and senior attackman JJ Bennett each scored three times to lead the Kewpies.
Sophomore middie Andy Messenger, a faceoff specialist who Mullen said has been playing unbelievably well, said the Kewpies were off in their loss to Springfield. Senior middie Matt Platz, who scored a goal and tallied two assists against the Vikings, agreed.
“We held on to the ball and controlled the clock better against Parkway North,” he said. “That’s something we have to do to be successful; hold on to the ball on offense and not drop passes.”
After getting a day off today, the Kewpies will return to practice on Tuesday to start preparing for the Bruins. Mullen said the Kewpies will do a full review of game situations and do lots of running.
The day off will give sophomore goalie Dan Hurst, who was forced to leave the Parkway North game early in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury, a day to recuperate.
“I took a hard shot to my right shoulder against Parkway South and today somebody got a good whack at it,” Hurst said. “The day off will be nice, so I’ll be able to rest it. Tuesday I’ll be ready to get back out there and tear it up.”