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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Sikeston soccer beats Cape Central to keep hot start going

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 ~ Updated 1:52 PM

(Photo)
Sikeston's Kelsey Jenkins leaps in the air to kick the ball away from Cape Central's Maria Popp in the first half of Tuesday's game.
(David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Entering the 2010 season, Sikeston girls soccer coach Derrick Long wasn't sure what to expect with a team made up of a majority of underclassmen. What he has gotten is the best start since the program began in 2002.

Sikeston continued their great start on Tuesday night, defeating Cape Central 2-0 at the Sikeston Sports Complex, improving to 8-2 on the season. The most wins a Sikeston team has recorded in one season is 10.

"It's actually amazing," Long said of his team's start. "I wasn't expecting this out of this team. I thought we had a lot more holes than what we do but they pick that up with effort.

"It is probably the best actual team I've had, where they play together and cover for each other. We've had a lot of good individuals in the past but we've really been doing a good job playing together as a team and hopefully they keep that up."

The Lady Bulldogs did a good job of playing together on Tuesday night, dominating the game against Cape Central from start to finish. Sikeston had many opportunities to score in the first half, with many just missing finding the net.

"Unlucky, that is the only way I can describe it," said senior Emily Eaves. "We had a million chances and none of them were going in. We kept it in their kitchen and out of ours, so I was pleased with that."

Sikeston finally got on the board 16 minutes into the game when Blissett headed the ball into the net on an assist from Eaves. The Lady Bulldogs scored again in the 23rd minute, when Kristin King scored on another assist from Eaves.

However, the two goals was all Sikeston could muster as several other attempts went just wide or high of the goal, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage at halftime.

"It's a shame we couldn't have finished a little better in that first half," Long said. "We had a lot of one-on-one breaks and we just couldn't find that big goal. We had a lot of open shots and their defenders made a lot of good saves back there as well. The balls looked like they were going in and they headed them out."

While Sikeston continued to miss opportunities in the second half, their defense made sure the lack of offense wasn't a problem. Time and again the Lady Bulldogs' defense turned away Cape Central's (1-9) scoring chances, led by sweeper Kelsey Jenkins.

"I thought Kelsey Jenkins did a really good job back at sweeper," Long said. "Any time it got dangerous back there she seemed to dribble it out of there. Blaire (Kelly), Abby (Harper), Sydney (Davied), all of them work together pretty good."

On the rare occasion the Sikeston defense did let a shot get past, goalie Asia Liggins was there to clean up.

"Asia (Liggins) had a good game," Long said. "She probably could have been a little more aggressive on some of them and caught some but it is almost like we are learning as we go and every game somebody steps up for us."

The road doesn't get easier for Sikeston as they travel to Saxony Lutheran on Thursday before playing in the tough West Plains Classic on Friday and Saturday.

"We have our biggest test yet this weekend at West Plains because we will be playing three ranked teams," Long said. "As long as we stick together and don't get down, work on things and play hard, we're going to be fine."