Perryville soccer team reaches district final with win vs. Sikeston

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Perryville's Kasey Thieret and Sikeston's Crystal Kelley go after the ball during the first half of a Class 2 District 1 game on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at Notre Dame High School. Perryville won 3-1. (Kristin Eberts)

The Perryville girls soccer team endured the most frustrating 30 minutes of the season at the beginning of its semifinal against Sikeston in the Class 2 District 1 semifinals Tuesday.

The following 10 minutes made it worth it.

The Pirates rebounded from an early goal and scored twice in the final minutes of the first half to seize control and claim a 3-1 victory.

"It was frustrating because we have been notorious all season for slow starts," Pirates coach Stacie Sargent said. "I know a few of the girls will argue that they thought she was offsides and that's why they quit, but there's a lesson you have to learn there and that there's a whistle for a reason and you can't quit before then. But after 10 minutes into the game, I thought we settled back in and we clearly controlled 90 percent of the game."

Added Pirates forward Morgan Franklin: "It was very unexpected when they scored. We planned on coming out here as hard as we could and planned on having a goal in the first five or six minutes. When they scored on us, we knew we had to turn our game up and get our game going."

Sikeston goalie Sarah Hopson goes up to block a shot by Perryville's Samantha Amberger (10) and Kelsey Schremp (23) as Sikeston players look on during the first half of their Class 2 District 1 game Tuesday at Notre Dame. More game photos can be viewed at (Kristin Eberts)

Sikeston netted the first goal three minutes into the game.

Perryville failed to clear from its own box and Sikeston controlled the ball and found Madison Chaney in the middle of the box. She spun and drilled a shot.

The lead held up for 30 minutes despite Perryville dominating possession.

"Very frustrating," Sargent said about the scoring drought. "Jerry [Fulton], one of my assistants, and I just stood there and said 27 minutes into the game and we're still losing. And it's like we can't be losing right now, not just to Sikeston but to anybody, and that was a concern."

The Pirates had multiple scoring opportunities but failed to find the net.

Franklin had a solid shot 10 minutes in that was handled by Sikeston's keeper. Megan Moldenhauer ripped a shot just wide off a cross minutes later, and Allison Moldenhauer hit a shot that was barely handled by Sikeston about 10 minutes later.

"Today we had possession the whole time and it was really frustrating trying to get down to their end," Franklin said.

Perryville finally struck with 10 minutes remaining.

The Pirates mounted an attack that resulted in a handball in the box. Franklin buried the penalty kick to even the score.

Franklin settled a ball and hit a 25-yard floater over Sikeston's keeper's head that gave Perryville the lead for good seven minutes later.

"I'd like to say we were kind of relentless and that made the difference," Sargent said about the scoring at the end of the half. "The fact that we created opportunities, I have to trust that by tomorrow maybe a few more will find the net."

The Bulldogs weren't finished yet as they had several more scoring chances, including a shot by Keyonna Blissett that nailed the crossbar.

"We knew we had to stay on the people we knew to stay on and come out as hard as we could," Franklin said about the second half. "We knew they were going to come out as hard as they could."

Perryville added a late goal when Allison Moldenhauer fired a cross from the right side that tipped off the keeper's glove and fell into the net to seal the victory.

The Pirates will try to capture the district title when they face Farmington at 6 p.m. today at Notre Dame.

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