POPLAR BLUFF -- Once again, regulation wasn't good enough to decide a winner between Sikeston and Poplar Bluff.
The Mules scored a controversial goal in overtime to beat the Bulldogs 1-0 on Tuesday.
"There was a ball that went out of bounds, and the referees had a hard time deciding who had the throw-in," explained Sikeston coach Derrick Long. "Bluff picked up the ball and threw it in for the score and the ref allowed it. Our defense wasn't even ready. It all happened so fast."
Earlier in the year, Poplar Bluff beat Sikeston in a shootout after two scoreless overtimes.
"It's kind of a tough way to lose a game," said Long. "I've never been involved with anything like that. Being such a great game, it was unfortunate it had to end on something like that."
Sikeston experienced some bad luck early when Ed Pike went down with an injury 15 minutes into the action. The Bulldogs were forced to play defense by committee after that, but fared well.
"We kept substituting people in there, and they all stepped up and played great," said Long. "We had the same amount of opportunities they had. We had balls roll across the goal, but just couldn't put them in. They just got a lucky break there at the end."
The winning goal came seven minutes into overtime, when Jacob Lampe scored off an assist from Kevin Romine.
Sikeston finished with 19 shots on goal and keeper Jason Deere recorded 16 saves. Poplar Bluff had 17 shots and goalie Greg Clark made 18 saves.
"Our teams match up pretty well," said Long. "(Poplar Bluff) is a lot like us. They play pretty strong defense and they have a few speedsters up top. They've got us twice in overtime now, and will play them again at home in our final game of the season. Hopefully we can turn the tables on them."
Sikeston (4-5-1) will play at Farmington on Monday.
In Tuesday's junior varsity match, Poplar Bluff beat Sikeston 1-0. Ted Thornburgh scored the Mules' only goal.
Sikeston finished with 12 shots on goal and keeper Cody Cooper made 14 saves. The loss drops Sikeston's junior varsity team to 3-4-1 on the season.