(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Spending most of their time on the defensive end Thursday afternoon, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs fell 4-0 to Poplar Bluff in the opening round of the Noon Optimist Tournament.
"They're a little farther along than what we are and it kind of showed today," Sikeston coach Doyle Noe said of the Lady Mules. "They're a solid team and they played well. They worked the ball around very well.
"We made a few mistakes early and kind of got down, but we battled back and kept it respectable."
Doing all their damage in the first half, the Lady Mules got things going at the 24 minute mark when Marissa Burroughs found the net on a pass from Allie Patillo to put her team up 1-0.
Seven minutes later, Kaysie Tisdale connected on a free kick from the right side of box, followed only three minutes later by Karisa Coleman breaking through two Sikeston defenders in front of the net to put her team up 3-0.
Adding one last goal with three minutes left in the first half, Julia Ward put in a header to make up the final.
"The offense finally clicked today," Poplar Bluff coach Derek Reasons said. "Of course there's still a lot we have to work on and a lot of places we have to get with them, but we did a good job maintaining possession and it helped out."
On the game, the Lady Mules had nine shots on goal with Lady Bulldogs goalie Trenice Greer coming up with five saves.
"I thought at the beginning (of the game) we weren't really playing our best," Sikeston's Kelsey Jenkins said. "We're still a brand new team, we're a young team and I feel like we could have done a lot better.
"We didn't get as many practices in as we could have and we're paying for it right now."
With Marion's lost to Jackson Wednesday, the Lady Bulldogs (1-1) will now play the Lady Wildcats today at 4 p.m. in the consolation semifinals.
Advancing to the second round of the tournament, the Lady Mules (2-0) will play Jackson at 5:45 p.m. Both games will be at Cape Central High School.
Opening up their season on the road Tuesday, Sikeston defeated the Harrisburg, Ill., Lady Bulldogs 2-1.
After a scoreless first half, Madison Chaney and Keyonna Blissett scored back-to-back goals in the second half to put the Lady Bulldogs on top for good.
"The wind was a big factor," Noe said. "We were against the wind battling (in the first half)."
"We came back (after the break) with a lot more energy, scored an early goal in the second half and again about halfway though."
Harrisburg's lone goal came late in the second half on a free kick outside the box, but they were unable to find a net again to force a tie.
"We controlled most the game and had a lot of chances," said Noe. "They stuck around and kept it close, but it was a good win for us."
Also opening their season with a win on Tuesday, Sikeston's junior varsity shutout Harrisburg's junior varsity 4-0.
Kameron Wilcox scored twice while goals by Harper Bryant and Kalli Williams rounded out the scoring.