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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

SHS girls soccer blanked in final

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sikeston goalskeeper Audra Wooley (right) makes a leaping save.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs' run to a district soccer championship came to an end with a 3-0 loss to defending champion Notre Dame on Tuesday.

Sikeston, the fourth seed, appeared tentative in the early going as No. 3 Notre Dame counted two goals in the opening 12 minutes.

"(Against) a good team like that, you can't give up two early ones," said Sikeston coach Derrick Long. "It seems like we didn't have that fire that we had last night. We came out a little flat."

A letdown was certainly a possibility for the freshmen-laden fourth-year program in its first district final, especially following an arduous three-

overtime upset win over top-seeded St. Vincent the day before.

Notre Dame's all-state senior Lauren Mehner scored at the six-minute mark off an assist from Merideth Medlin.

"To get that goal early, after all the minutes they played last night, probably took a lot of energy from them and made us more comfortable," said Notre Dame coach Jeff Worley, whose team captured its third straight Class 1, District 1title.

Notre Dame has advanced to the Final Four in state the past two seasons with a second in '03 and fourth in '04.

At 11:00 minutes, Megan Robert, assisted by Mehner, deposited a shot into the left corner for a 2-0 advantage.

Sikeston's best scoring opportunity came midway of the first half, when junior forward Ali Blurton, the team's scoring leader, burst through a cluster of Notre Dame defenders and rocketed a shot just wide right off the goalpost.

"If it bounces off the inside of the pole, it's a goal," said Long.

Sikeston trailed 2-0 at the half, dodging a bullet when a Notre Dame shot just before halftime hit the crossbar.

Sikeston, which had battled Notre Dame to three close overtime losses during the regular season, stiffened its defense in the second half.

Goalkeeper Audra Wooley, who stopped 19 shots, contributed several nice saves to keep Sikeston within striking distance.

"She got peppered," said Long, "but she's been solid all year."

Said Worley, "They defend very well and their goalkeeper is excellent. We moved the ball well against them the other three times we played and she (Wooley) made unbelievable saves to keep things going and keep their energy up."

Sikeston's offense managed only seven shots on goal to 22 for Notre Dame. Notre Dame goalie Laura Muir was credited with three saves.

Notre Dame's Medlin tacked on the final goal with about 10 minutes left.

In the second half, Sikeston midfielder Paige Silverthorn went down for several minutes after a collision with the Notre Dame goalie. Preliminary medical tests at the hospital proved negative for any head trauma, but a precautionary cat scan was to be taken later.

On Sikeston's initial district title run, Long said, "This isn't the only time that we're going to be in the district championship game. We're going to be there, because we know where we want to be now. We've got a nucleus of freshmen and that's the exciting part."