Notre Dame will attempt to extend its district title streak

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A young Perryville team may be the biggest obstacle.

Of the five teams competing in the Class 1 District 1 girls soccer tournament in Perryville, Notre Dame is the only school to have previously won a district title.

The Bulldogs will enter the tournament as the top seed, but several squads -- including the host Pirates -- will be contenders. Play begins today at the Perryville City Park with an 11 a.m. game between No. 4 St. Vincent and No. 5 Fredericktown. The finals are 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Perryville Soccer Complex.

Perryville has used an infusion of youth -- 10 sophomores and seven freshmen are on the 23-player roster -- to lead the district with 13 wins. The Pirates earned the No. 2 seed with a 13-8-1 record, and will face No. 3 Sikeston on Monday at the Perryville Soccer Complex.

"I'm really excited," Perryville coach Stacie Sargent said. "The majority of the season I've had one senior. With all the youth we have, most of the time they've stepped up."

That senior, Amber Hacker, leads the team in scoring with nine goals and 11 assists. Chelsey Marr, a sophomore, leads the team in goals with 11, and freshman Alicia Kueker also has nine.

"Hacker's certainly been the glue that's held us together in the middle," Sargent said.

The Pirates already clinched a share of the Jefferson County Conference title this season, and would like to add their first district title.

"Hopefully, this will be the beginning of something big happening," Sargent said.

Notre Dame won its first district title in 2003, and has now won three straight titles. The Bulldogs have been to the state final four two times during that span.

"Any of these teams has demonstrated they can make plays," Notre Dame coach Jeff Worley said. "You get that first goal, play good defense and you can make that goal stand up. I think every team feels good about their chances."

This season, Notre Dame has used a stingy defense to build an 11-4-1 record heading into Monday's semifinal game. Notre Dame has surrendered just 12 goals in 16 games. Senior forward Meridith Medlin leads Notre Dame's offense with 15 goals.

"I think we're playing some of our best soccer right now," Worley said. "We're as healthy as we've been."

Indians try to extend string

Jackson will enter the Class 2 District 1 tournament at Poplar Bluff as the top seed and in search of its fifth straight district title.

Jackson will play No. 4 Poplar Bluff in one semifinal Monday, and No. 2 Central will play No. 3 Farmington in the other. The finals are 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Indians have been tough to beat after opening the season 0-3. Since that time, Jackson (14-6-2) has won 14 of 19 games and has only lost three games. Jackson is getting much of its scoring from sophomore Lauren Drewett and freshman Bobbi Jo Schlick, who have scored 13 and 12 goals, respectively.

Central (11-6) will face a tall task if it wants to win its first district title since 2001. Central has been outscored 9-1 in three losses to Jackson this season.

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