CAPE GIRARDEAU - The Sikeston Bulldogs soccer team lost its season opener to the Carbondale Terriers on Thursday in the Notre Dame Tournament.
Carbondale scored three goals in the final six minutes to win 4-1 over Sikeston.
"We couldn't figure out what happened there," said Sikeston head coach Derrick Long. "We knew that we would have some holes defensively, but they played pretty well for 74 minutes. We played even with them for most of the match. Adam Garrett and Brad Deere both had chances to score in the second half but their shots were wide. If they made those then it may have been a totally different game."
Carbondale scored the first goal at the 10:00 mark when Brian Kline scored unassisted.
Sikeston tied the score at 1-1 at the 24:00 mark when Adam Garrett scored. Aaron Bateman assisted the goal off a throw-in.
Jeremy Howell scored the go-ahead goal at the 74:00 mark. One minute later Kline scored again. With two minutes left, Howell scored his second goal to make it 4-1.
"I was real pleased -- we fought pretty much until the end," said Long. "Carbondale is a powerhouse in Illinois and they started all seniors. This will make us better, playing these top echelon teams."
Sikeston attempted 12 shots to Carbondale's 16. Chris Cota, playing his first soccer match ever, had 12 saves as the goal-keeper. Carbondale's R.J. Harper had eight saves.
"Cota had a pretty good game," said Long. "Those last three goals he allowed, nobody could've stopped them. Those were just defensive breakdowns."
Sikeston will play the loser of the Poplar Bluff-Cape match today at 4 p.m.