The Lady Bulldogs took advantage of a couple of Lady Tigers mistakes in the first half to essentially put the game away at halftime.
Aggressive play by Sikeston early in the contest put Central goalie Jackie Tundwell in a no-win situation. Ariel Reynolds got past the defense of the Lady Tigers and had an opportunity on goal, when the keeper came out and received a penalty for tripping Reynolds.
Sikeston was awarded a penalty kick that was taken by junior Jordi Ferrell. At the 16-minute mark, Ferrell hit the shot to put the Lady Bulldogs up 1-0.
"The penalty kick was all set up by the hustle of Reynolds," said Sikeston head coach Derrick Long. "Ariel put their goalie in a tough situation and she had no choice but to take her out."
Cape Central (5-7) put little pressure on Sikeston goalie Amber Minner thanks in large part to solid defense by Katie DeLaRosa and Laura Atchison. In the first half, the Lady Tigers could only muster two shots.
The Lady Bulldogs put another goal on the scoreboard just before the end of the half. In stoppage time, Cape Central got sloppy on defense and allowed sophomore Abbi Keefer to get free in the mouth and put the ball past the keeper. Ferrell was credited with the assist. Sikeston led 2-0 at the half.
"We were solid most of the night," said Long, "but we still have little things to work on. I thought we didn't communicate well early on and that allowed Cape to have some free kicks close to the goal. We have to eliminate those types of mistakes if we hope to make some noise this year."
The only threat by the Lady Tigers on goal came at 51st minute. Sikeston was called for a penalty in the box, which gave Central a penalty kick. Long decided to put Keefer in goal because of her athleticism and experience.
The time it took to change into a goalie uniform might have iced the kicker for the Lady Tigers. Sara Uptmer took the shot for Central and her shot went up and over the goal. Crisis adverted by the Lady Bulldogs.
"We are going to do that all year," said Long. "Amber is just learning the game and she is doing a great job. However, Abbi is such a great athlete and if we didn't need her in the field so much, she would be our goalie. The rule states that we can make that switch if the player is on the field at the time. It is all about doing what is best for the team."
After the penalty kick, Central did not have another quality shot on goal the rest of the match.
Minner recorded the shutout for Sikeston with five saves. The Lady Bulldogs outshot Central 16-6 in the contest.
Sikeston (7-3) will participate in the Lady Zizzers Classic in West Plains over the weekend. The Lady Bulldogs garnered the No. 3 seed and will face the host team in the first round on Friday at 4 p.m. West Plains is seeded sixth.
In the J.V. contest, Sikeston defeated Central, 1-0. Avery Stone recorded the lone goal for Sikeston (2-2) on an assist by Kelsey Cooper.