(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The end result wasn't what they wanted, but making it to the consolation finals against top-shelf opponents during the 13th Annual Fralish Cup in Carbondale on Saturday gave the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs soccer team nothing but positive things to build on.
"We brought a lot of positives from this weekend," Sikeston head coach Doyle Noe said. "There are a ton of great teams that play in that tournament and we hung tough with all of them we played."
The Lady Bulldogs played a grueling three-game schedule in just one day. Their opening game was against the hometown Carbondale Terriers.
Sikeston lost their first game to the eventual third-place finishers, Carbondale, in a 2-1 game.
Keeping the Terriers off the scoreboard in the first half, Carbondale took a 2-1 lead in the second half when Maggie Golz scored the game winner from an assist from Elaina Robinson with five minutes left in regulation.
Morgan Johnson scored Sikeston's lone goal of the game in the 45th minute with an assist from Kristen King.
"That was a tough draw getting the home team on their home turf," Noe said about playing Carbondale in their first game.
The loss put Sikeston in the consolation bracket and pitted them against Champaign, Ill. in the consolation semifinals.
The Lady Bulldogs turned up the offense knocking in three goals to shutout Champaign, 3-0.
Sikeston got on the board early when All-Tournament selection Keyonna Blissett scored in the fifth minute with an assist from Kathryn Inman.
Five minutes later, Madison Chaney scored the first of her two goals from an assists from Blissett to go up 2-0 in a blink of an eye.
With and assist from King, Chaney punched in her second goal of the game in the 50th minute to put the game out of reach and send the Lady Bulldogs to the consolation championship against Farmington.
"It was good to score, but the defense really stepped up," Noe said about the Champaign contest. "The girls got going early and I think our early offense helped spark the defense."
The consolation championship would not go their way, however.
Blissett scored Sikeston's only goal as the Lady Bulldogs fell 4-1 to the Knightettes.
Farmington built an early 2-0 lead with goals at the 30th and 40th minute. Blissett knocked in her second goal of the tournament at the 50th minute mark but Sikeston could not muster another to tie as Farmington scored two more to win going away.
"We had chances to score," said Noe. "We hit posts and cross bars but just couldn't put one in. Farmington's a good team. They're a district opponent so it was good to see what they had."
Sikeston finished with a 1-2 record on Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs played back-to-back-to-back games starting at 10:30 a.m. until their last game at 4 p.m.
"You hate to drop games but it was a positive," Noe said about their Saturday performance. "It was a tough tournament and we played all of our opponents solid. It was a grind, but I'm proud of my girls for battling."
Sikeston (5-5) will travel to Cape Central to take on the Lady Tigers on Tuesday.