(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Sometimes one key move can change the outcome of a game. That was never more evident than in Sikeston's soccer game Wednesday evening.
As the Lady Bulldogs dominated visiting Harrisburg, Ill., they had little to show for it as the game was scoreless entering the final minutes of the game. That is when Sikeston coach Doyle Noe moved sophomore Madison Chaney from defense to a forward.
The move paid off as Chaney put the ball in the net on an assist from junior Kristin King, with 1:35 remaining in the game. Sikeston then held off a late Harrisburg charge to earn the 1-0 win.
"I usually play defense so I knew I had to come up top and do something," Chaney said. "I saw Kristin come with that cross so I knew I just had to crash the goal and I did."
Noe said he was looking for a spark and the energetic Chaney fit the bill.
"A lot of teams key on Keyonna (Blissett) and Kelsey (Jenkins) up top so we switched up a little bit to get a little energy up there and it payed off," Noe said. "(Madison) hustled and she was where she was supposed to be at that far post and put one in. It was a good job by her."
Sikeston controlled the game from the open but could not find the net. In the first half alone, Sikeston had 15 shots with most being off the mark.
"We definitely controlled the game but you have to be able to finish and today we couldn't finish," Noe said. "We had a lot of shots and just couldn't put one in the net, but overall we played pretty well."
The Lady Bulldogs continued to control the game in the second half, finding the open players with crisp passes but still couldn't break through until Chaney's shot late in the game. Meanwhile Sikeston's defense was strong throughout, allowing only nine shots from Harrisburg on the day.
"Defense played really well and picked up the offense a little bit, but I'd like to see us score a few more goals," Noe said. "We were fortunate to come out of here with the win but we have to start finishing a little better moving forward, especially as we get closer to districts."
Sikeston (4-3) will take on Carbondale, Ill., on Friday in the Carbondale Tournament.