(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- With his team only able to convert on one goal through the first 40 minutes against the Fredericktown Blackcats on Monday, Sikeston head coach Doyle Noe stressed patience as his team entered the second half.
The Bulldogs' faith was rewarded when Brandon Goodwin scored in the first minute of what turned out to be a nine-goal second half as Sikeston went on to rout the Blackcats 10-1.
"I think you saw the game we controlled it definitely, but just didn't have that killer instinct in the first half and they were making some great plays defensively as well," Noe said. "I just preached to the boys to stay positive, stay confident and it will happen.
"Obviously it did in the second half so we just kind of stayed the course in the second half and the goals started coming."
While their defense held the Blackcats to only a couple shots on goal in the first half, the Bulldogs were able to take an early lead when Gavin O'Brien sent a shot between the posts with 17:35 before the break.
Though they were unable to connect on any other opportunities before the half, Sikeston's offense suddenly caught fire when they came out of the break and scored twice in the first two minutes.
Goodwin started off what turned out to be a hat trick performance just 42 seconds after play resumed and Chase Baron followed that up with 38:07 to play off a pass from Adam Johnson.
Already up 3-0, the Bulldogs were still just getting warmed up as Audi Hay took a long pass from Baron and scored with just over 31 minutes to play.
Already with an assist, Johnson went on to make it 5-0 at the 29:58 mark when the Blackcats' goalkeeper misplayed the ball as it neared the top of the box and hit the open shot.
Johnson went on to miss a free kick when it ricocheted off the top cross bar only to come back down and make it back-to-back goals for Sikeston when he converted on an open shot, making to 6-0 with 24:22 to play.
"The second half I was able run a lot of different guys out there," Noe said. "I have different guys that can score and once they smelled blood they wanted to put more in. They continued to do that."
Goals by Goodwin and Tyler McClinton pushed the Bulldogs ahead 8-0 and with under 10 minutes to play Sikeston looked well on it's way to adding another shutout to its already record-setting season.
Just eight minutes before the whistle, however, Logan Underwood found the net as the Blackcats got on the board the first and only time of the night.
One final goal by Goodwin and another from Patrick Smith rounded out the scoring as Sikeston improved to 15-4 on the season.
On his team's play, Fredericktown head coach Brandon Hale said, "We came out strong and had a great first half. When we played them at home we had a great first half as well. We just kind of lost steam after halftime.
"Out there at the varsity level when you only have three or four subs that you can put in and another team has six or eight players deep (on the bench) it definitely makes it tough."
Sikeston outshot the Blackcats 30-4 in the contest with Josh Hampton recording two saves.
Back in action tonight, the Bulldogs will host Carbondale, Ill., at 6 p.m.