(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- They earned shots on goal, they had the most time of possession and even kept Harrisburg from scoring a goal -- even though they lost 1-0.
The only thing the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs couldn't do was find the back of their own net.
After 16 shots on goal and nothing to show for it, the Lady Bulldogs lost their first game of the season at the Sikeston Sports Complex on Wednesday night on an inadvertent 'own goal' that slipped past Sikeston goalie Annie Ramey off the foot of her teammate.
"This early season game, I don't think we had a lot of purpose with a lot of the stuff we did," Sikeston head coach Doyle Noe said. "It was back and forth really the whole game and they end up getting a goal on an 'own goal,' which was a simple mistake that we made that held up for the entire 80 minutes."
In the 29th minute during one of their few chances in the first half, Harrisburg managed to move the ball towards Sikeston's net. After a few failed attempts at a goal, Kelsey Dial tried clearing the ball away from Ramey and the net but ended up pushing it right past her.
"Kelsey does a great job, but you can't face your own goal when you're trying to clear a ball. Bad things are going to happen," Noe said. "She knows and she'll fight back and be better for it."
Following Harrisburg's fortunes, Sikeston continued pushing the ball up the field putting tons of pressure on Harrisburg's defense.
With 10:40 left in the first half, Madison Chaney, one of Sikeston's fleet-footed forwards, banked a shot directly off the right post narrowly missing her chance to tie the game.
In the last 10 minutes, Sikeston sent four more shots towards Harrisburg's goal, but came up empty each time.
"We played with teamwork and told them all to pull together," Harrisburg head coach Rick Daugherty said about defending Sikeston. "They all pulled together and adjusted well to their attack. It was a big team effort today."
Although Chaney had a few chances, Harrisburg played the junior very close, shadowing her every move.
"Madison's a solid player, but she's going to have to step up and play that role of go-to person," Noe said. "She'll have to find ways to beat their best defender and double teams and get around that. She worked really, really hard tonight and some bounces just didn't go her way."
Nothing changed in the second half.
Sikeston sophomore Kameron Wilcox, filling in for the injured Keyonna Blissett, who is on the mend from a nagging knee injury, did her best to accompany Chaney around the box and will a goal in.
They had seven more opportunities to touch the net, but Harrisburg didn't budge.
One of Sikeston's best chances to score came in the final five minutes after a penalty shot set them up from 30 yards out.
The initial kick from Monica Carter sailed right towards Harrisburg's goal, but was knocked away.
With just under a minute left, two more shots were fired off by Sikeston, but like all the others, failed to hit their mark.
"I thought (Harrisburg's) best player was their sweeper," Noe said. "She was quick, fast, athletic and had a lot to do with us not being able to score. We really never got a ton of great chances to score."
Sikeston (0-1) will participate during the Noon Optimist Tournament in Cape Girardeau today and continuing into the weekend.