(BRIAN ROSENER ~ Daily American Republic)
Hailey Mouser changed that with a breakaway goal then added another about a minute later to lead the Indians past Poplar Bluff 2-0.
"The No. 1 key was being patient as far as making sure we were keeping the pressure up," Jackson co-coach Justin McMullen said. "Certainly the game of soccer is a patient game, so we were trying to make sure that we weren't getting frustrated without scoring a goal."
Jackson (7-5) dominated possession but had nothing to show for it after the first half against the Mules (6-9).
Poplar Bluff's best scoring chance came in the 15th minute when senior Marissa Burroughs got off a shot inside the 18-yard line to the near-side post. But Jackson keeper Erin Eakens, who was making the start in place of Sarah Blanton who was out with a minor injury, made the save.
Instead, it was scoreless at the break before Jackson put together three good scoring chances in the first nine minutes of the second half.
Hailey Callis stole a clearing attempt in the 45th minute and got a shot off in front of the net that sailed over the crossbar. The junior sent in a free kick from about 40 yards in front to Jordan Myer about a minute later, but Poplar Bluff's Alexa Atkinson broke up the play.
Atkinson made a goal-saving play on another free kick in the 49th minute. Mollie Crader's volley to the far post was inches from the goal line when Atkinson headed the ball over the crossbar before the junior landed in the net.
Poplar Bluff keeper Courtney Raulston, who made 11 saves, finally was beat when Kaitlyn Crites found Mouser on a break from midfield. Mouser got off a low shot to the far post as Raulston came out to cut down the angle but couldn't get to the ball in time.
Mouser's second goal came about a minute later when she got off a wide-open shot inside the 18-yard line off a pass from Sara Thompson.
"We've just been trying to talk about being calm as a finisher, and both of those goals were very calm," McMullen said. "She didn't try to blast the ball, she just placed them very nice into the corner."