(Photo by Josh Mills, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldog soccer team held on 1-0 to upset the No. 10 Class 2 Perryville Pirates Tuesday night at the Sikeston Complex.
Sikeston (5-14) was able to strike for the lone score of the contest eight minutes into the game when Cody Anderson fed the ball to Jordan Davis, who was able to tuck the ball into the left corner past the diving Perryville goalkeeper.
Davis is quick to point out that defense is what won this close contest.
"Jason (Isaacs) and our defense played great tonight," Davis said. "We did a good job switching the field and looking for open players. Our defense had a huge impact on tonight's win."
Davis said he hopes the Bulldogs can keep the winning up.
"We are looking to finish the season strong and keep this winning up," he said.
Perryville (14-6) head coach Jerry Fulton notes that his team lacked first half intensity.
"I wish we would have came out a little stronger in the first half, but we didn't," Fulton said after his team's loss. "My hats off to Derrick (Long) and his team, they did a great job."
Long, who as recorded 99 career wins as Sikeston's boys soccer head coach, was very happy with the win Tuesday.
"This was a big win for us," Long said as his team celebrated the win. "They (Perryville) beat us 4-0 earlier in the season. They are a district foe and ranked No. 10 in the state. Perryville has played great soccer all season. Tonight was a back-and-forth game and was a lot of fun to coach. They would control the ball, we would control the ball, it was exciting. Things got a little heated toward the end because both teams were fighting so hard for the win."
Long points out exceptional defense as the key to the Bulldog's victory.
"Our defense played very well tonight," he said. "Our two sweepers played well tonight. We've moved Jason Stratman up from junior varsity to join Daniel Sanders at sweeper and they worked together tonight and cleared the ball well. But our defense was a collective effort. Jason Isaacs played well at goal keeper and kept some good Perryville shots from going in. We did a lot of things right tonight. We had the opportunities to really run it up on them but they were able to keep our shots out and keep this one close. I'm just very pleased with our overall effort tonight."
Long feels winning the last three games has been a major boost to his team.
"These three wins have been nice, its helping us to end on a high note," he said. "It's much better to gel as a team later in a season than to gel early on and fall apart late. I like the way things are going for us. We still have a tall mountain to climb as far as districts go. We will have to face a lot of tough teams, and Perryville is one of them. We just have to take games one at a time and see what happens."
Sikeston will face the Kennett Indians Thursday night in the seasons final home game as the Bulldogs will be celebrating "Senior Night".