CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Sikeston's play, for the most part, was as cold as the chilly, windy weather with temperatures in the mid-30s.
The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs, suffering their second loss in two games, were eliminated from the Noon Optimist Girls Soccer Tournament with a 5-1 loss to Marion, Ill., on Friday at Notre Dame Regional High School.
After an early Sikeston goal for a 1-0 lead, it was all Marion.
The Lady Bulldogs struck first on Ashley Angle's unassisted goal at the 31-
minute mark of the first period. Marion's goalie overran a high, wind-blown kick opening the mouth of the goal for Angle's follow shot.
Marion then tallied three goals in about a 10-minute span for a 3-1 halftime lead. Marion's Paige Smothers scored once and assisted on two other first-
On the evening, Smothers scored twice with three assists and teammate Jessie Crabtree netted two goals with an assist.
"Our defense was like four turnstiles back there, standing side by side," said Sikeston coach Derrick Long.
"They controlled the game and exposed a lot of our weaknesses. We've got a lot to work on."
Long was forced to juggle the Bulldogs' lineup with the absence of starting goalie Paige Silverthorn. Abbi Keefer, normally a forward, was pressed into service as the goalkeeper.
"It did affect us, because Abbi Keefer is a force up top for us and, when she's not in there, our options are slim," said Long, "but it was a collective loss, one of our worst in the last two years. We just got outworked and outhustled."
Marion padded its already big lead with two second-half goals to complete the rout.
Said Long, "Speed of play was a big thing. They counterattacked well and pushed the ball up the field and we didn't react.
"It's early in the season, so we'll go back to the drawing board and try to figure things out."