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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Sikeston blanks Carbondale 3-0, Hampton earns school record

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

(Photo)
Sikeston's Chase Baron (10) and Hunter Taylor (7) leap for a loose ball in front of Carbondale's net Tuesday at the Sikeston Sports Complex. Sikeston won the game 3-0. Chris Pobst, Staff
SIKESTON -- Punching in the first goal of the game usually gives the Sikeston Bulldogs an advantage for a number of reasons.

The biggest reason? A Bulldog win more than likely follows.

Just a mere 13 minutes into the contest, Sikeston senior Brandon Goodwin gave the Bulldogs (16-4) a leg-up against visiting Carbondale, Ill., Tuesday which began a 3-0 shutout at the Sikeston Sports Complex.

"It takes pressure off of you and you're able to relax a little bit," Sikeston soccer coach Doyle Noe said about scoring first. "Then again, it puts a lot of pressure on the other team. When a team does that, they put their heads down and you're able to do more of the things you want to during the flow of the game."

Sikeston has been a team all year that relies on scoring early. Not only does it give them a lead, it allows their extremely stout defense to keep opposing teams out of the net -- something that Sikeston keeper Josh Hampton has done for a school record 12 times now.

"Our defense was the best aspect of our team for quite awhile," Noe said. "The last three or four games, we've won big games but we've just given up dumb goals and we've really worked on tightening that up. You can't give up easy goals. You've got to play a solid 80 minutes whether the ball is on your end the whole time or whether it's back there 10 or 15 minutes.

"Tonight, they tightened it up. They stayed with their marks, stayed compact and went with the guys making runs. When we do that, we're very difficult to beat."

Goodwin made up for a prime scoring opportunity even earlier in the first half when he faced Carbondale's goalie one on one on a breakaway. Goodwin's shot hit the keeper in the hands and caromed out of bounds.

He came back just minutes later to clean up a shot by Adam Johnson that hit the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

"I was just in the right spot at the right time," Goodwin said, who has scored six goals in his last three games. "It's just following up great passes, crosses and shots."

"Brandon missed a golden opportunity just a couple minutes in, but to get that one pretty early was big and set the tone for the rest of the game," added Noe.

Though scoring first has been a strength for Sikeston, it's been a thorn in Carbondale's side for most of the season -- as has the Bulldogs.

Sikeston is now 3-0 against the Terriers (7-11) this season after meeting them once during Carbondale's Invitational tournament, again during the Notre Dame Soccerfest and finally Tuesday night.

Sikeston has won all three games by a combined score of 6-0.

"That's been our issue all year," Carbondale head coach Jeff Hansen said about giving up early goals. "We really haven't responded well doing that. We've struggled being down."

Sikeston continued to possess and control the shot selection throughout most of the first half, but wasn't able to score their second goal until seven minutes into the second.

Goodwin scored his second goal of the night to give the Bulldogs a commanding 2-0 advantage.

"They always have that quick, fast, physical team that never stops playing," Hansen said about Sikeston. "They have a great program here and it's tough once you get behind his group to come back."

Hunter Taylor iced the game just 10 minutes following Goodwin's second goal.

"We possessed the ball and were able to finish," Goodwin said. "We worked hard, we hustled to everything and we were flying around the field. They couldn't really keep up with us."

"Our offense got rolling early and the defense really didn't give them a whole lot," added Noe. "I was very pleased with them doing that, especially with us going into Thursday."

Thursday brings a tough test for the Bulldogs as they travel north to Cape Central to take on the Tigers, a team they narrowly defeated 1-0 early this season.

If Sikeston defeats Cape Central, they will at least capture a share of the SEMO Conference championship -- a feat no other Sikeston team has accomplished.


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