Potent attack leads Mizzou soccer past UMKC

Photos by Kelsey Alumbaugh
Story by Kaveh Kaghazi

The Missouri Tigers soccer team got back in the win column with a 3-0 drubbing of UMKC Sunday at Walton Stadium. The Tigers’ aggressive offense produced 32 shots while the defense held tight, allowing only six shots.

Alyssa Diggs (14) moves the ball toward the goal to take a shot, one of 32 taken by the Tigers.

Missouri (8-2) failed to capitalize on an array of great scoring opportunities early. After 16 Tiger shots, the match was a scoreless tie at halftime. Coach Bryan Blitz said the game would’ve had a different outcome if not for the early challenges his young team has faced this season.

“In the past I think maybe we would’ve lost that game,” Blitz said. “We were all frustrated but I think we just tried to stay composed and support each other.”

The Tigers did keep their composure and came out firing in the second half.

“We knew at halftime that we just had to stay calm and it was coming in the second half,” midfielder Kelsey Blincow said.

Blincow finally got the Tigers on the board in the 52nd minute when a perfectly placed pass from sophomore Alyssa Diggs found her in the middle of the box. “It was a really good ball across the box from Diggs,” Blincow said. “I just tried to stay calm, and just placed it.”

After the first goal, the Tigers again found their shots missing the mark. Midfielder Haley Krentz’s shot in the 58th minute sailed just over the crossbar. On their next scoring chance, Diggs played an excellent ball into the box only to see Taylor Grant’s header miss high.

Diggs continued her sensational play this season, scoring the game’s second goal in the 85th minute on a deflected ball off UMKC goalkeeper Jami Finnell. The Coppell, Texas native scored her fourth goal of the season, tying her with Dominique Richardson for the team high.

“The coaches have been telling me I need to be more selfish and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Diggs said. “I’m trying to get that attacking mindset.”

The Tigers put the match away in the 87th minute when Richardson put the ball past Finnell on a penalty kick following a UMKC handball in the box.

The Tiger defense was rock-solid throughout the match. It was the sixth shutout of the season and the fourth for freshman goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein.

Missouri opens its Big 12 conference schedule Friday in Lubbock, Texas when they square off with Texas Tech. Coming off a tough loss at home against No. 8 Florida, Blitz was encouraged by how his team got back on its feet.

“A good team loses,” Blitz said.  “A great team finds a way to win the next day.”

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