(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The last time Notre Dame was on the Sikeston pitch, the hometown Lady Bulldogs pulled off a dramatic win in a shootout. On Monday night, there was no repeat as Notre Dame spoiled Sikeston's home opener with a 4-0 victory.
It didn't take long for Notre Dame to get on the scoreboard as senior Allyson Bradshaw put the ball past Sikeston goalie Trenice Greer with 34:32 remaining in the first half.
Notre Dame continued to be the aggressor, keeping the ball in Sikeston's zone and scoring again with 16:19 remaining in the first half when Brianne Sanders put the ball in the corner of the goal.
Just four minutes later, Anna Wren scored, putting the ball in the net off of a corner kick and Notre Dame had taken control of the game 3-0.
"Notre Dame played really well tonight," said Sikeston coach Doyle Noe. "They moved the ball around and they possessed the ball. We played a little bit on our heels.
"Once they possessed the ball we laid back and let them dictate the game and that's not how you play. We're going to work on that and we're going to improve."
Notre Dame used their passing skills to keep the ball in the Sikeston zone for a majority of the first half. As the visiting Lady Bulldogs passed the ball from teammate to teammate, it stretched the Sikeston defense out and left bigger lanes to take shots.
"That was some of the most unselfish play we've ever had," Worley said. "Every combination we had out there really worked on possessing the ball and moving it around and it makes all the difference for us. We were able to put ourselves in position to make our shooting easier because they are a good defensive team and have always been really tough on us."
The second half Sikeston came out with more aggression and began pushing the ball toward the Notre Dame goal, and while they had several good looks, were unable to get on the scoreboard.
"I think the second half we played a lot better," Noe said. "We talked at halftime about not sinking back and playing in that shell and we pushed up a lot more and that created a lot more chances. When you do that you can do things and take chances and score some goals."
Even as Sikeston was becoming more aggressive, Notre Dame continued to work on stretching out the hometown Lady Bulldogs' defense and it finally paid off with 11:26 remaining when Wren scored her second goal of the game.
"Her movement all over the field and being able to distribute the ball with the idea you don't have to take it yourself was fantastic," Worley said. "It is one of her best games ever."
While Noe said his team wanted to win the game, he is looking at the big picture and focusing on the end of the season.
"It definitely stings losing to a big rival but we know where we need to be and we are going to work to get to that point," Noe said. "Come districts that's when we want to be playing well and clicking and hopefully we can get there this season."
With the loss, Sikeston falls to 1-2 and will travel to Saxony Lutheran this afternoon.