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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

N.D. blanks Lady Bulldogs

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

(Photo)
Sikeston's Megan Underhill works the ball.
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs soccer team lost their home opener on Monday night to the Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs, 2-0.

Notre Dame had Sikeston on the ropes early in the contest scoring their two goals in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Notre Dame struck at the 6th minute on a nice cross from Destiny Dirnberger to Meridith Medlin, who kicked the pass out of the air to get it past Sikeston goalie Amber Minner.

Sikeston barley got their bearings about them after the quick first goal, when Paige Schumer of Notre Dame took a corner kick and blasted the ball toward the mouth of the goal. A flying Courtney Luehmann jumped over the pack and headed the ball past a stunned Minner at the 9-minute mark. Notre Dame quickly had a sizable advantage.

"We knew we had to keep the game close because we were playing without one of our top scorers in Abbi Keefer (sat out due to a lingering knee injury)," said Sikeston head coach Derrick Long. "We didn't have a good flow about us early. Notre Dame did a good job of getting wide on us. On the first goal, we tried to cover the outside and we left the middle open. The second goal was on a nice corner kick and they just beat us to the ball."

Sikeston was outshot 8-2 in the first half and never did mount much of a challenge to Notre Dame keeper Claudia Brauss.

Notre Dame seemed the faster team and worked the ball well around the pitch.

"We felt like the girls having been playing too fast to open the season," said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Worley. "I would like to get them to slow down and they did a better job of that tonight. The girls are used to going fast, but against Sikeston they allowed other players to get open in space."

Down 2-0 after halftime, Sikeston came out in the second half and showed a bit more life. Sikeston got off eight shots and had a couple of shots on goal. Long believed freshman Emily Eaves showed promise in the second half.

"I thought Emily Eaves was more aggressive up top for us in the second half," said Long. "With Abbi out, she needs to take over the game offensively. When Abbi comes back, we will have a potent lineup up top."

After an opening round loss in the Noon Optimist Tournament at Cape Central, Notre Dame has reeled off three straight wins.

"We struggled in our opener because we didn't pass the ball effectively," said Worley. "We play the best when we pass the ball around and slow the game down. The girls have to learn to pass first and not dribble right off. We played well tonight and this is a good win."

Sikeston is coming off four games in five nights after they finished second in the tourney at Cape Central. Long believes their is no need to panic this early in the year.

"I am not a bit frustrated in the way we played," said Long. "We played better over the weekend because we moved the ball around and were aggressive. Tonight, we seemed to play on our heels. Notre Dame is a good team and they moved the ball well. Medlin is a force and we left their people on top too wide open. Everything is fixable, it is only our fourth game."

In the junior varsity contest, Notre Dame blanked Sikeston 4-0.

Notre Dame (3-1) travels to Poplar Bluff on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Sikeston (2-2) travels to Hillsboro today at 5 p.m.