In the first-ever meeting between Mexico soccer and the newly-minted Battle High School, both teams fought to the end. The Spartans played a tough, physical game, but the Bulldogs were tougher coming out on top 3-2 Thursday night in Mexico.
Mexico struck first, when sophomore Brock Fuemmeler finished a cross off the foot of senior Kyle Bailey in the seventeenth minute. Fuemmeler would score again in the second half, breaking through the Spartan defense and driving the ball into the opposite corner to record his seventh goal of the season, and bring the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead.
Battle responded with a goal of their own before senior Christian McKeown all but sealed the victory with a strike from outside the penalty area to net his fifth goal of the season. The Spartans were able to score again in the final minutes of the game, but Mexico held onto the lead as time expired.
"We need to finish games stronger, we let a goal in with under two minutes to play," head coach Grant Johnston said about the victory. "Although we still held on, it added a level of unnecessary stress. Our general awareness of game situations needs to improve; we must know that if we are winning in the 75th minute, we must put a larger emphasis on defense than we would in the fifth minute."
The victory moved the Bulldogs to 4-1 (1-1 NCMC). They play again Monday at Kirksville.
Mexico Golf shot 196 and took second in a three-team match with Russellville and New Bloomfield to move to 15-2 on the season.
"This was the finale of a big week for our team," coach Lindsey Yancey said. "Competing in three matches in a week is mentally, physically and emotionally draining but I am so proud of how the team competed. We were hoping to really take advantage of playing at home but unfortunately had some struggles overall on connecting with the ball and some very difficult pin placements on the greens."
Russellville's Mikala Jungmeyer took top-individual honors, shooting 40 over nine holes. Senior Layne Ray recorded the lowest score for the Bulldogs at 43.
New Bloomfield 220
Layne Ray 43
Abigail Hoer 48
Abby Gooch 52
Kaylee Stone 53
Jessica Slagle 53
Erika Smiley 49
Raegan Samm 58
Brooke Ransom 68
Haley Barnes 69
Elizabeth Kasubke 78
There was no official junior varsity competition, but Yancey was pleased with how the JV golfers played.
"They had no competition as the other teams did not have a JV team but these girls take that desire to improve seriously and played just as professionally as if they had been playing with girls from other teams," she said. "Brooke Ransom came in with a new season low last night, she had one bogey and two double bogeys and was connecting with the ball very well. I expect her scores to continue to go down. Another first last night was Erika Smiley breaking 50 for the first time. She had a rough start to her round but refocused mentally and turned in a fantastic score."
Page 2 of 2 - At Gallop Field, Bulldogs softball moved to 4-3 (3-3 NCMC) in a 6-9 loss to the Fulton Hornets.
Mexico fell behind early, when Fulton scored an early run in the first but responded with a three-run inning in which junior Karen Baker hit an RBI double and junior Abby Dick had a two-RBI single.
In the second, junior Allison Mudd hit an RBI to score junior Haley Test and scored on a wild pitch to give the Bulldogs a 5-1 lead over the Hornets.
After Fulton scored two in the top of the third, sophomore Ashlee Morton used aggressive baserunning to take advantage of fielding errors and scored Mexico's sixth and final run of the evening.
The three-run cushion was not enough to secure a win for the Bulldogs however as the Hornets bounced back with three runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to snatch the victory away.
"Tonight was a tough loss for us," head coach Christina Gerber said. "We have to learn from tonight as we go back at it in the Jeff City Tournament Friday and Saturday."
Junior Danielle Baumgartner had a single, a double and scored one run. Sophomore Laura Fischer had one walk and one run. Test had two hits and one run. Senior Ashlie Woodruff had one walk and one stolen base. Kenzie Robnett (0-1) was the starting pitcher for the Bulldogs.