Playing in a cold, steady rain with temperatures in the 40s, Kickapoo scored two second-half goals to slide past Republic in a 2-0 win in Springfield Wednesday night. The teams played nearly an hour of scoreless soccer before the Chiefs got on the board first when a shot skipped off the wet turf and deflected off the gloves of Republic goalkeeper Drake Lightfoot. It gave the Kickapoo a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute.
“For the most part, I think Drake (usually) saves that,” said coach Kevin Hauck. “But these conditions make it difficult on that. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to handle it because of the way it was moving or because of the way it moved.”
Hauck said the unpredictable ball movement on wet turf is “why you want to take as many shots as possible,” and the difference in the game is that Kickapoo finished its scoring opportunities and the Tigers didn’t.
Republic had several opportunities to even the score, but Kickapoo extended its lead in the 71st minute to go ahead 2-0.
It was the second 2-0 loss in a row to a top-tier team, after Republic lost 2-0 to Nixa Tuesday.
“We’ve played two competitive teams here the last two nights, and we were right there with them,” he said. “I thought that both nights we had really good opportunities and we just weren’t able to finish. And I think if we can finish them, it swings momentum our way in both of those games.”