(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
As expected, the Lady Bulldogs struggled against established local teams, finishing with a record of 0-11, scoring just one goal all season.
Heading into the program's second season, head coach Derrick Long feels his team will compete much better this year.
"I believe we're going to be better," he said. "The more we play, the more experience we get, the better we're going to be. A lot of these teams have been playing for a while. All we're doing right now is playing catch-up. I think our team is going to be a lot stronger than it was last year."
Long has high hopes for freshmen standouts Paige Silverthorn and Alison Blurton. The multi-sport duo already has made an impact in softball and basketball.
Now he's hoping it will carry over to soccer.
"They're going to make a big impact," said Long. "I'm just hoping they keep it going with soccer."
Silverthorn could step in and be Sikeston's top offensive threat.
"She's probably had the most experience playing," noted Long. "She has played soccer most of her life. I think she will be an all-district, all-conference player for the next four years. I have high hopes for her."
In all, there are 33 girls out for this year's team. Key returners include Keisha Presley, Flemming Silverthorn and Elizabeth Killion.
Other key contributors are Hannah Smith and Caroline McClung.
"I think we will have a pretty strong defense behind Hannah and Caroline," said Long. "I'm expecting a lot out of those two on defense."
Sikeston will open the season April 8 against Fredericktown, a first-year program.
"It's nice starting off with a team that has about as much experience as we do," said Long. "Maybe we can start the season on a good note. We're just going to take it one game at a time and try to improve as the season goes."