(Photo by Josh Mills, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs soccer team fell to 1-6 on the season after suffering a very tough loss on Thursday evening to the Notre Dame Bulldogs by a score of 1-0.
Sikeston and Notre Dame were each scoreless at the break and the contest had all the makings for a classic battle between the two schools. Jason Isaacs, the young keeper for Sikeston, made several spectacular plays in goal, even fending off a tough penalty kick late in the first half.
"Jason played a great game today," said Sikeston head coach Derrick Long of his goalie. "He saved a big penalty kick in the first half. He guessed right on that one and I thought he played a great game."
Notre Dame head coach Brad Wittenborn also commented on Isaacs stellar defense while in goal for the home team.
"They were solid defensively so that made it hard for us to knock one in," said Wittenborn. "Their keeper made some good saves. I thought Sikeston played very hard."
Despite their gritty effort throughout the contest, Sikeston came up one goal shy as Notre Dame's Joda Holloway slid one past Isaacs at the 68-minute mark on an assist from Josh Robert.
"We played them to a stand-still for 66 or 67 minutes," said Long. "That's the team in our class that's won the last few years at state. They played the ball across the box and it went past three of our defenders and anytime you have an all-stater (Holloway) like that with a wide-open shot, then he's going to bury it."
The goal was all that Notre Dame needed for victory as Sikeston came up with a few shots on goal in the final minutes but failed to connect and put one through the net.
Long said that there were several bright spots in the contest even after coming up short of victory.
"I thought Hunter Williams had a big game," said Long. "We put him at center-midfielder by himself tonight and we knew that Joda (Holloway) was there, their big guy, and we knew they'd try to play the ball through there. Hunter played a big game and he matured as a freshman tonight."
"Hopefully we can take a step forward from this," he added. "We're just maturing as a team and trying to figure things out. Next week we'll get Dakota Trevino back and that will give a little boost to our team. We're just going to keep moving forward."
Notre Dame (5-0) heads to Whitfield today while Sikeston will be back in action Monday evening at Perryville with varsity action beginning at 4 p.m.