(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
One year removed from its inaugural season and an 0-11 ledger, Sikeston won its season-opener on Tuesday with a 5-0 win against Fredericktown.
While head coach Derrick Long knew a win would be on the horizon, he said it was nice to get one in the season-opener.
"It was a really big moment," said Long. "Any time you get that first victory, you don't have to worry about it anymore. Now we're just going to try to progress and improve after every practice and every game. I think it was really big for the girls. They were really excited about it."
Sikeston dominated the entire game, getting 17 shots on goal to Fredericktown's six.
Freshman Alison Blurton had the biggest day, recording a hat trick for the Lady Bulldogs.
Long said her big day is just a prelude for things to come in the future.
"I think she's going to be a great player," said Long. "Right now she's got great speed and she's a great athlete, but she doesn't know how to score. I know she scored three goals today, but once she learns how to score, she's going to be tough. Kind of like (former SHS all-stater) Adam Garrett. By his senior year he learned how to score. I think she may learn how to score by the end of this year, she's just got that much raw talent. We were pretty impressed with her."
Blurton scored two of her goals in the first half, one at the 2:00 mark and another at the 25:00 mark.
She added her third goal at the 49:00 mark to make it 3-0.
Freshman Paige Silverthorn increased Sikeston's lead to 4-0 with a goal at the 64:00 mark.
"I think Paige Silverthorn controlled the game and tempo there in the center midfield spot," said Long. "We had a big game from her. I could probably go on about every player, but we also had a big game from Keisha Presley. Her aggressive nature kind of got the team fired up at the beginning. She has a high intensity level and she got every going from the start of the game."
Caroline McClung, who also had an assist, added Sikeston's final goal at the 71:00 mark.
Marissa White, Lamechia Armstrong and Erin Dement all had assists for the Lady Bulldogs.
Sophomore goalie Whitney Wallace recorded the shutout with six saves, including one on a penalty kick.
Long knows an undefeated season is unlikely, but he thinks Tuesday's victory is a big step towards a successful program.
"I think it's a sign of good things," said Long. "We're starting two freshmen and four sophomores. We're going to take some lumps this year, it's only our second season. But I think we're going to improve every game. I think we'll play a lot better against the teams that gave us the big lumps last year. One thing we assembled was a pretty scrappy team, and I think we're going to give every team their money's worth."