Jays blast Hickman 5-0

The scoreboard said one thing, the head coach said another.

“We had some moments where we did some nice things, but there were moments where we didn’t look all that sharp,” Jays coach Eddie Horn said Tuesday night after Jefferson City blanked Hickman 5-0 at the 179 Soccer Park. “It was just our second game, I know that, but I think we could have played a little better.”

The Jays were definitely efficient on the offensive end. Jefferson City scored on five of its seven shots on net.

But it was the play down the field that concerned Horn.

“We had too much space between our midfield and our back line in the first half,” he said. “It was giving them too much space to turn and run with the ball and that caused us a few problems.

“Plus, our rhythm wasn’t great, we were trying to play too fast when we didn’t need to do that.”

The Jays got on the board less than three minutes into the contest. Erich Sporleder knocked a long ball that Marcus Woodruff chased down and shot past the Kewpie keeper to make it 1-0.

Aaron Crane made it 2-0 with about six minutes to go in the half, lining home a shot assisted by Woodruff.

The Jays, who held the Kewpies to one harmless chance in the first half, were looking for the quick kill in the final 40 minutes.

“I told the guys at halftime if we got one or two early it would probably break their spirits,” Horn said.

Done and done.

Woodruff picked up his second goal of the contest about four minutes in, assisted by Mason Vonderhaar.

That was followed by what Horn said was the goal of the night a little more than a minute later.

The play started on the defensive end, where Logan Horn sent a pass to Nate Luebbert, who then found Sporleder. From there, the ball went to Vonderhaar, then to Jordan Carron, who played it to Woodruff in front of the Hickman net.

Woodruff’s shot was stopped by the Kewpie keeper, but the rebound found its way back to Woodruff, who knocked it home for his third goal of the night.

“It was fast, it was a lot of one-touch, it was good vision,” Horn said. “That was our best moment.”

With a comfortable 4-0 lead, it was time for the Jays to work on some things during game conditions.

“We have so many guys on our varsity bench who’ve never played a varsity game,” Eddie Horn said. “We wanted to get some guys out there to get some positive touches and get comfortable playing on the varsity level.

“That’s really what the second half turned into for us.”

But there was just one substitute on the defensive end for the Jays, who are trying to work four new players in the starting lineup.

“We need to keep those guys together, to get comfortable playing together and we can’t replicate that in practice,” Horn said.

The final goal came midway through the half from Colton Acock.

Zach Brooks got the shutout in goal for the Jays in his varsity debut.

It was the second straight shutout to start the season for the Jays (2-0), who will play Saturday at Marquette in St. Louis.

It was the fifth straight game for Hickman (2-3) in which it posted a shutout or was shut out.

In Tuesday’s JV game, Jefferson City used two first-half goals to top Hickman 2-0. Travis Blackwood and Lucilo Neto scored for the Jays (5-0), while Skylar Richardson and Alec Menzies had assists. Tyler Hager was in goal for Jefferson City.

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