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Knights show patience in victory over Sikeston

SIKESTON, Mo. – The Farmington boys soccer team was content to control possession between the midfielders and defense until the right opportunity arrived on Tuesday.

Leading scorer Bryce Sancegraw was marked by one man instead of a committee for a fleeting moment during the 29th minute, and Tristan Stotler promptly looked to capitalize.

Sancegraw settled a diagonal pass just outside of the 18-yard box, then beat his defender with a touch to the right before finding the back of the net.

The Knights scored three times within a span of 3 minutes, 32 seconds, and advanced past Sikeston 3-0 in the Class 3, District 1 semifinal round.

Chad Silvey made five saves in a shutout, and Gatlin Roberts netted his sixth goal this fall. Farmington (15-3) will face Cape Central in the championship match on Thursday.

Sikeston (11-13) contained the dangerous Knights early on, and had the first scoring chance of the game when Bryce Miller missed high on a 30-yard free kick.

The Knights attempted to spring Sancegraw ahead with kicks from their side of the narrow grass field, and earned six corners and several sideline throws in the contest.

Martin Guerrero created such a chance with a nice run along the right side, but the ensuing corner was negated when Cole Gerstenberger was whistled for a foul in the box.

Bulldogs keeper Clark Steward stopped an initial shot from Sancegraw, and provided several excellent saves against him in the second half to finish with 12 overall.

But the Knights seized command through a sudden scoring binge. After Sancegraw made it 1-0, he was the catalyst in doubling that lead less than a minute later.

Sancegraw gained possession to begin dribbling about 40 yards from the net, and darted through three defenders before releasing a low drive toward the opposite post.

Roberts was the first man to arrive at the rebound while following the play, and punched it home for a 2-0 advantage that seemed rather comfortable for the top seed.

Stotler sent a midfield ball in the 33rd minute toward an onside Sancegraw, whose subtle chip avoided the sliding Steward and glanced favorably off the left post for his 36th tally of the season.

Farmington outshot Sikeston 24-8, unofficially, and threatened numerous times to extend the lead if not for strong work by Steward between the pipes.

Steward turned aside a point-blank strike from Gerstenberger off a nifty cross from Roberts in the 50th minute. Silvey answered with a quick reaction to stop a deflected cross on the Sikeston counter.

The Bulldogs earned their lone corner less than a minute into the second half, as a spin move by Trey Drake forced defender Max Reid to tackle the ball over the end line.

Sikeston tried a final free kick in the closing seconds that missed the target, and did not aggressively send more personnel forward despite the three-goal deficit.

Farmington used a three-man wall to block a 23-yard free kick in the second half.

Farmington sophomore Chase Gollaher (9) attempts to switch his dribble against Sikeston defender John Myers (11) during the first half of a Class 3, District 1 soccer match on Tuesday in Sikeston, Mo.

Farmington sophomore Chase Gollaher (9) attempts to switch his dribble against Sikeston defender John Myers (11) during the first half of a Class 3, District 1 soccer match on Tuesday in Sikeston, Mo.

Farmington senior Bryce Sancegraw (14) scores a goal from just outside the box as Sikeston defenders arrive late during the 29th minute of a Class 3, District 1 soccer match on Tuesday in Sikeston, Mo.

Farmington senior Bryce Sancegraw (14) scores a goal from just outside the box as Sikeston defenders arrive late during the 29th minute of a Class 3, District 1 soccer match on Tuesday in Sikeston, Mo.

Farmington senior Tyler Herzog (8) carries possession against Sikeston from the defensive third as Kody Winch (21) looks on during the first half of a Class 3, District 1 soccer match on Tuesday in Sikeston, Mo.

Farmington senior Tyler Herzog (8) carries possession against Sikeston from the defensive third as Kody Winch (21) looks on during the first half of a Class 3, District 1 soccer match on Tuesday in Sikeston, Mo.

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