CAPE GIRARDEAU -- The Sikeston Bulldogs had no answers for the state-
ranked Notre Dame Bulldogs on Tuesday at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame scored three first-half goals to defeat Sikeston 3-0 in the SEMO Conference match.
"They're ranked in state for a reason," said Sikeston coach Derrick Long, of sixth-ranked Notre Dame. "They're a well-working machine out there. They work the ball, knock it around the field from sideline to sideline. Our guys were just chasing it back and forth."
The more experienced and skilled host team thoroughly dominated Sikeston, outshooting them 23-1, while controlling the ball in Sikeston's defensive end about 95 percent of the game.
"To beat a team that's more skilled than you, you have to body up on them, be more physical with them," said Long. "We showed signs of that the second half, just not enough."
Sikeston (5-10-1), packing it in on defense, kept Notre Dame off the scoreboard the entire second half, but that strategy, along with Notre Dame's smothering defensive pressure, allowed no viable scoring opportunities.
"That may be the way we have to play them," said Long. "We may have to pack it in and counterattack when we get the ball. That's not pretty soccer and it's not the way we want to teach the game, but, if we make a run at districts and they do too and we meet again for the big prize, we'll have to look at that. "Hopefully, we'll get another shot at them."
Notre Dame (15-1) scored its first goal at the 23:42 mark on Richard Marquart's shot from about 35 yards out that caromed off Sikeston defender Dakota Trevino, leaving goalkeeper Scott Droddy no chance for a stop.
Droddy, again stellar in goal, recorded 13 saves.
The second goal scored on Ryan Willen's header from point-blank range off a cross from Ty Williams with 9:10 left in the first half.
Williams scored the third goal with an assist from Matt Kiplinger with 3:43 to go in the half.