In a North Central Missouri Conference game previously scheduled for Oct. 3, the Mexico varsity soccer team traveled to face Kirksville on Saturday for the second time in a week and lost a close game, 4-3.
"This was a much better game. We had high intensity from the very beginning," sid coach Chris Hawkins. "We were able to learn from our mistakes from Tuesday and Thursday. We were making sure not to hold onto the ball too long and use each other to work the ball up the field. The thing that we need to work on is passing the ball in the front of the mouth of the goal. There were plenty of times where we had the ball in the penalty area and another open player, but we did not pass it to them."
Because the Bulldogs were only trailing 1-0 at halftime, igniting their second-half offensive attack was Jeff Haines, Diego Vasquez and Dalyn Feigenspan. Haines and Connor Frazier were good for an assist each, as well.
"This was a close game from the start. We came out strong the second half and put two away on them, but they soon got the equalizer," Hawkins said. "We then scored another, but they answered right back. The boys were playing hard and they did not want to go home after this game, but soccer is a game of luck and Kirksville scored in the last five minutes. It was plenty of time to score again but they kept high presser on us and slowed the game down for a win for them."
Prior to this Mexico was at the Moberly Tournament last Thursday and lost to Canton 5-2 under a format that seeded teams that won its first game in spots one through four. The losers were also seeded starting with the fifth slot.
"Looking at past years, we've always lost the first game and then won the other two games on Saturday to get fifth place," said Hawkins. "This year was going to be different. We drew an easier team, Canton, who lost to Hannibal 0-7 earlier in the year. "Unfortunately with having key players out due to injury, it makes it difficult to show teams how we really are at full strength. We were playing very well the first 20 minutes, where we almost scored within the first 30 seconds."
Charting those scores for the Bulldogs were Haines and Alex Dukes.
Mexico, 3-5 overall, is at Boonville for a NCMC contest on Sept. 14.
"It takes a toll on our morale when we are getting called for a lot of petty fouls and the other team is getting by with the same thing, if not a harsher foul," Hawkins said. "Naturally we were frustrated and it effected us greatly since we lost our level headedness. For the last 20 mins of the first half we forgot how Mexico Soccer plays which hurt us."