Things just weren't quite clicking for the Jefferson City Lady Jays.
"We had good energy, the girls were working hard," Jefferson City coach Dal DuBois said after the Lady Jays dropped a 2-0 decision Thursday night to the Hickman Kewpies in Central Missouri Activities Conference action at the 179 Soccer Park. "It just happened we couldn't find our feet when we need on balls when we were trying to connect with players.
"This was a tough one."
Hickman jumped on Jefferson City early in the contest.
Lady Jays keeper Riley McKee made a big save in the opening minute after a Kewpie corner kick. But Hickman kept attacking and got on the board less than a minute later when Claire Claude found the back of the net off an assist from Ava Hoenes.
"Right off the bat, you never want to see that," DuBois said. "You obviously never want to give up a goal, but to give one up early like that puts you in a tough situation."
Hickman took that 1-0 lead into intermission. The Kewpies outshot the Lady Jays 6-3 in the first half.
Jefferson City's best chance to score in the game came midway through the second half when Daelyn Scheulen uncorked a liner that Hickman keeper Sophia Elfrink made a good play to stop to preserve the shutout.
"We weren't connecting well and that had a lot to do with our offense not being productive," DuBois said.
Hickman added an insurance goal with a little more than four minutes remaining when Isabella Laird of the Kewpies was slotted a pass right in front of the net that she was able to finish.
"We just didn't have the pass blocking that we normally have, our defense is normally very good with that," DuBois said. "We usually don't have a problem with that."
Hickman finished with 13-5 edge in total shots, including an 8-4 advantage on those on net.
"They had our defense running their tails off," DuBois said. "They had us discombobulated."
It was the first CMAC game of the season for Hickman, now 8-4.
"We ran into a good team tonight," DuBois said. "They played very well, you have to take your hat off to them, Hickman played well."
Jefferson City (5-5 overall, 2-2 conference) is back in action next Tuesday in a CMAC contest at Sedalia Smith-Cotton.