Things looked good for Sikeston early as Madison Chaney took a pass from Monica Carter and blistered the ball into the back right corner of the goal in the third minute to give the Lady Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
"That was huge to get an early goal against a team like (Perryville)," Sikeston coach Doyle Noe said. "You can't ask for anything more than that. It kind of surprised them a little bit and we had the momentum."
Playing with a one-goal lead, Sikeston had all the momentum and kept Perryville scoreless for a majority of the first half, helped by senior Sarah Hopson, who was playing goal keeper for the first time all season.
"(Sarah) was asked to jump into goal today and did a heck of a job," said Noe. "She couldn't have done any better. If she hadn't been back there, it might have been a little worse."
Hopson, who finished the game with 15 saves, hadn't played in goal since her freshman year but wasn't against the change.
"It is kind of funny. My dad played goalie in high school and pitched and I pitch and ever since my freshman year I wanted to try (goalie) but I haven't really done much," Hopson said. "Yesterday we tried it in practice and I guess Coach liked it and I enjoyed it."
Hopson saved the first eight shots that she saw before Perryville took advantage of an unfortunate Lady Bulldog mistake.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half a Sikeston player was called for a hand ball in the box on a Perryville corner kick, giving the Lady Pirates a penalty kick. Perryville's Morgan Franklin kick bounced over the outstretched arms of a diving Hopson to tie the game at 1-1.
"That was probably a turning point in the game when they got that equalizer," Noe said. "They got confidence and started bringing more players forward and momentum changed and we were on our heels."
Perryville then took the lead for good in the 37th minute when Franklin lofted a shot that went over the head of a leaping Hopson, giving Perryville a 2-1 lead.
"Giving up that goal at the end of the first half was bad for us," Noe said.
Sikeston had several opportunities to tie the game in the early parts of the second half that could have changed the game.
In the 47th minute, a Chaney shot went just left of the goal and one minute later, she sent a shot that looked to be going into the net until Perryville goal keeper Natalie Bauwens made a diving save.
In the 52nd minute, Sikeston junior Keyonna Blissett sent a blast that hit the crossbar and bounced away with the Lady Bulldogs trailing by one. Just three minutes later, Perryville's Allison Moldenhauer gave the Lady Pirates an insurance goal, scoring from the right side on a ball that just went off the fingertips of a diving Hopson.
"Keyonna hits the crossbar and Madison puts a shot just wide of the bar. If either one of those shots goes in it is a 2-2 game and who knows," Noe said. "But not tying it up and then giving up a goal to go down two was huge. That kind of put a nail in us."
Perryville had a couple of other opportunities but Hopson made was able to make the saves by diving to the ground to keep the ball out of the net.
"I don't let anything scare me," Hopson said. "I've been hit in the face and I've broke my ankle so I don't have anything to lose really. I just try to put my body in front of it and try to keep everybody positive."
Down two Sikeston frantically tried to put pressure on the Perryville offense but two shots were turned away by Bauwens and the Lady Bulldogs could only watch as the final seconds ticked off the clock and their season.
The Lady Bulldogs finish the season at 10-9 and will lose only three seniors in Hopson, Sydney Davied and Blair Kelley.
"I hate losing those three seniors because I'm not going to be able to replace them," Noe said. "Sydney and Blair are solid, solid defenders. They've improved a lot and are much better players.
"Sarah plays a lot of defense in mid and is going to be difficult to replace. When you have a girl who is willing to do anything it is hard to replace them. We do have a lot coming back and hopefully the girls can remember this and build on it for next year."