(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
The Lady Tigers got a measure of revenge on Tuesday as they ran away with a 5-1 victory against Sikeston in the Lady Bulldogs' final home game of the year.
It was an uninspired effort by Sikeston according to coach Derrick Long.
"Cape Central wanted it more," said Long. "Every aspect of the game they wanted it more. They just outplayed us all over the field. If you're going to take two out of three against Cape Central, especially when you've never beaten them before, I'll take that. You got to put a little positive spin on it. I just wish we had a little better effort tonight."
The game had the makings of a barnburner for the first 33 minutes, but the contest took a turn for the worse when Sikeston headed a shot into its own goal.
The Lady Tigers' Sarah Uptmor was credited for the goal.
Cape Central (8-12-1) took a 2-0 lead right before halftime on a shot by Abby Kiefner on an assist from Haley Pilsner.
"We're a very young team -- we only have one senior -- and I knew going into the season that scoring would be a problem for us," said Cape Central coach Tom Doyle. "We didn't have a proven goal scorer. We've lost 12 games and 11 of them we didn't score a goal. I'm sure (Sikeston's own goal) was demoralizing. We've been on the receiving end of that earlier in the year too. The ones you really feel bad for are the ones that are headed in."
Uptmor added a second goal to extend the lead to 3-0 when she lobbed a shot over Sikeston goalie Amber Minner's head at 41:00.
Laura Lusk made it 4-0 when she scored on an assist from Uptmor on a corner kick at 48:00.
Sikeston broke the shutout on Jordi Ferrell's penalty kick to make it 4-1, but the Lady Tigers ended any potential dramatics with a fifth goal as Melissa Smith scored on an assist from Pilsner.
"Right now we're really starting to play some of our best soccer which is good with districts starting," Doyle said. "Hopefully we're rounding into shape. This is a good win for us. The first couple games I thought we played right with them but they put the ball into the net and we didn't. Tonight our defense was strong and we played much better offensively."
Sikeston, which started the season 8-2, fell to 12-9-1 on the year.
"We're not clicking right now," said Long. "This is our ninth straight game with a different starting lineup. We don't really have any continuity going. We had a great start to the season at 8-2, but we've had injuries and trips and a lot of stuff going on -- we just haven't had our full team and we're trying to figure things out. It's getting down to crunch time."
While Long was disappointed with his team as a whole, he did point out strong play from Ashley Angle and Katie DeLaRosa.
"I thought we had a good game from Ashley and Katie," said Long. "Ashley worked really hard back there. With it being 5-1 it doesn't look like our defense did much, but she was working hard. The rest of the team took a night off though. That happens sometimes, but you don't want that to happen towards the end of the season.
"I thought Katie did an amazing job for us. We played her at forward, midfield and defense trying to plug all the holes. But her and Ashley couldn't stop everything. A lot of times we were playing 11 versus two and you're not going to win with those odds."
Cape Central will host Festus tomorrow. Sikeston will travel to Fredericktown.
Sikeston opens district play in Class 1, District 1 on Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs are seeded third and will play No. 6 Farmington at 11:45 a.m. at St. Vincent High School in Perryville.
"We can't dwell on this game -- we've got districts Saturday," said Long. "We've just got to plug a lot of holes. We've got a lot of water coming through the dam right now."
Sikeston's J.V. team tied Cape Central 1-1. Abby Harper scored the team's lone goal on an assist from Amy Rushing.
Sikeston is now 4-4-2.