(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs soccer team was able to capture their fourth win in a row as they downed the Kennett Indians 1-0 in their final home game and Senior Night Thursday at the Sikeston Complex.
The win marked career win 100 for head coach Derrick Long.
The deciding goal came off the foot of junior Hector Lemus at the 36 minute mark. Lemus was assisted on the play by Dakota Trevino.
Kennett head coach Ron Lewallen felt the match was hard fought.
Long noted that although his team did not play as well as they could have, they did what was needed to get a win.
"Kennett was able to beat us down there earlier this year, so it was nice to get that game back on them here for Senior Night," he said. "We did not play our best game tonight. I feel we were out of sorts somewhat. Our touch wasn't the greatest. We were able to get the big goal there early in the game and we played pretty solid defense. We didn't give them (Kennett) to many opportunities to score. We great effort from all our guys tonight."
Long also pointed to the play of his goalkeeper Jason Isaacs as a key to the victory.
"On their best two chances to score, Jason (Isaacs) was able to snuff them out." he said.
Long saw that his squad's midfield play need to improve.
"One area I saw we needed to work on was our play in the midfield," he said. "One of Kennett's midfielders played a heck of a game and was able to really control that part of the field. So we see that we need to address that."
Long also sung the praises of his three seniors: Trevino, Steven Beydler and Robert Brooks after Thursday's game.
"Robert Brooks, Stephen Beydler and Dakota Trevino are big parts of this team," he said. "They all work very hard and have brought different things to the table for us. They all have been difference makers for us. We will miss all three of them next year. The only bright side is there are only three of them and we have a lot to continue to build on next year."
Long hopes his team can regain focus as they will face Farmington on the road next Tuesday with district competition close behind.
"I'm hoping these guys can keep focused on the job at hand," he said. "Tonight, I felt like we were a little distracted and 'riding high' from the last two wins. We need to refocus and get ready for this game next Tuesday and districts a head of that. We like where we are as a team right now. Hopefully we can keep the success up."