Hattie Hayes finally got a substitution Thursday.
The Hickman freshman got a few minutes of rest against Father Tolton in the Kewpies’ 2-0 win. She was understandably exhausted.
“I’m very tired,” Hayes said after beating the Trailblazers. “This is the first time I’ve gotten a sub in the past three days.”
Hickman (10-7) navigated a grueling schedule of three games in three days with a team that was shorthanded due to injuries and had its schedule switched up due to weather. The games were all against Columbia opponents.
Hickman worked its way to wins against Tolton on Thursday and Battle on Tuesday, sandwiched around a difficult loss to Rock Bridge on Wednesday.
Starting on the right foot
Battle and Hickman were to play Monday before weather moved the game to Tuesday.
“Coming out of the weekend, it’s an extra day of rest,” Hickman coach Wil Ross said. “It actually probably worked in our favor.”
The Kewpies started strong.
Hayes and Adelina Delgado scored goals against the Spartans to earn a 2-0 win.
Hickman consistently applied pressure against young Battle (6-13) and controlled possession by being aggressive toward loose balls.
Sophia Elfrink starred in goal for the Kewpies. Not only is she one of the better players in the city, but she’s the hallmark of a Kewpies defense that is the strength of the team. In Hickman’s 10 wins on the year, Elfrink has earned shutouts in nine.
“Everybody relaxes a little bit,” Ross said. “You’re allowed to make a mistake every once in a while knowing that Sophie will take care of it.”
Bump in the road
After beating Battle, Hickman traveled to Rock Bridge (14-4-1) for a miserable game.
It was cold and rainy Wednesday. Hickman added a few more bumps and bruises against the Bruins, as Rock Bridge stymied the Kewpies 2-0.
Hickman held Missouri soccer commit and Bruins star Madison Hendershott in check, but Izzy Cole and Kyler Serio scored for Rock Bridge.
“(Rock Bridge was) a little more organized,” Ross said. “We’re struggling to see the pass-and-move, and I think we make it a little too difficult on ourselves sometimes.”
That organization could come with a healthier roster, which Hickman hopes to get to as the postseason approaches.
Heading into Hickman’s third game in three days, Ross worried about energy level.
The Kewpies needed to shake off Wednesday’s loss. They did so in a resounding fashion with a 2-0 win over Tolton on Thursday.
Claire Glaude and Lucy Elfrink scored for Hickman, as Sophia Elfrink kept Tolton (12-2-1) off the board with saves.
“Just the fact they can come out, find enough energy, find enough resilience to put them in a spot to win all three games this week is pretty impressive,” Ross said.
Hickman originally had practice scheduled for Friday, but Ross called it off in favor of having his players take time to recover.
Once Hickman is rested, it won’t have to look far for its next challenge.
The Kewpies play at Smith-Cotton on Monday before hosting Helias on Thursday, closing the regular season against a couple more teams with winning records.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Ross said. “This team will be the team that finds a way to pull something out.”
Chris Kwiecinski is the sports editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune, overseeing University of Missouri and Boone County sports coverage. Follow him on Twitter @OchoK_ and contact him at [email protected] or 573-815-1857.
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: How Hickman girls soccer navigated three Columbia games in three days