Bulldogs soccer took fifth place at the Spartan Invitational in Moberly Saturday, winning two games including a rematch against conference rival Kirksville. The Bulldogs moved to 6-3 on the season, with the lone tournament loss coming in the first round to the Fort Osage Indians, 0-6.
"We were downright outplayed in our first game, Fort Osage is a talented team with very talented individuals," head coach Grant Johnston said. "In order to beat a team like Fort Osage we must play a great team game, which we did not do. That loss felt like a culmination of everything that has gone wrong for us in the last two weeks."
A team which lost in the first round at the invitational was ineligible to place in the top-four. In drawing the Indians, the Bulldogs had the bad luck of drawing of the eventual tournament champions.
"The boys took the loss hard and we worked to right the ship in the following two games," Johnston said. "Ultimately the boys responded very well."
The Bulldogs bounced back in the second round of the tournament, routing the Montgomery County Wildcats 7-0.
Against the Wildcats, the Bulldogs were led by senior Christian McKeown and sophomore Brock Fuemmeler. McKeown had three goals for the Bulldogs while Fuemmeler scored two and was credited with the assist on two more. Senior Kyle Bailey had one goal and one assist, senior Aaron Manns had one goal and junior Josh Kelly had one goal. Senior Colin Cosby aided the Bulldogs by providing three assists.
After beating the Wildcats, the Bulldogs faced the Kirksville Tigers in a rematch of a 1-2 loss earlier in the week.
"This game was the most important game of the tournament for us," Johnston said. "We felt as though we didn't play well in our first game against Kirksville; the boys wanted revenge and revenge is what they got."
McKeown had two goals and one assist against the Tigers. Fuemmeler had one goal and assist and Cosby scored one goal.
McKeown's offensive output earned him all-tournament honors. Sophomore Sam Hobbs was also named to the team based on the strength of leadership he demonstrated in Mexico's defense.
"The most impressive part of our team play was by our back four defensive players and our goalkeeper, who recorded shutouts in our last two games," Johnston said. "Hobbs dealt with a variety of personnel changes on the defensive end. With (sophomore) Ben Miller unable to attend the tournament and with (sophomore) Rory McKeown suffering a head injury in the second game, Hobbs' leadership abilities were put to the test when we filled their positions with less experienced players at the position. Hobbs was able to corral the defensive unit and put us in a position to succeed."
Page 2 of 2 - Mexico soccer returns to the field tonight when they host the Missouri Military Academy Colonels.