Tag Archives: McKenzie Sauerwein

Missouri soccer team opens season with win over Pacific

Missouri's Reagan Russell (6) jumps over Pacific goalie Tashia Long as Long grabs the ball. Russell scored twice in the 5-1 win Friday night. Photo by Karen Mitchell.

Missouri’s Reagan Russell (6) jumps over Pacific goalie Tashia Long as Long grabs the ball. Russell scored twice in the 5-1 win Friday night. Photo by Karen Mitchell.

The Missouri Tigers soccer team easily defeated the Pacific Tigers 5-1 to open the season Friday night at Walton Stadium.

Missouri was lead by two goals each from junior Taylor Grant and sophomore Reagan Russell. Senior Danielle Nottingham scored the fifth goal and added two assists.

Goalie McKenzie Sauerwein played the full 90 minutes, allowing one goal and making two saves.

Missouri (1-0) is scheduled to play at Memphis on Sunday.


Missouri soccer wins exhibition game against SMU

Reagan Russell (6) jumps up to celebrate her goal with teammate Brittany Conley (5) as Lauren Flynn (11) watches. Photo by Karen Mitchell

Reagan Russell (6) jumps up to celebrate her goal with teammate Brittany Conley (5) as Lauren Flynn (11) watches. Photo by Karen Mitchell

It took some time for Missouri to get a score on the board in Saturday’s exhibition game against SMU. Though Missouri’s offensive dominated with several shots on goal, it wasn’t until 1:58 left in the half that the Tigers got on the board with a goal from Reagan Russell.

Goals were added in the second half from Kaysie Clark and the game-winning goal from Brooke Williams to give Missouri the 3-2 win over SMU.

Starting goalie McKenzie Sauerwein held SMU scoreless in the first half. No. 2 goalie Kristen Rivers started the second half. Both goalies had two saves in the game.

The season stars for the Tigers on Friday, Aug. 23 against Pacific at 6:30 p.m.

Last year the team finished 14-7-1 overall, and 8-5 in conference, finishing fifth in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers have three returning starters and seven newcomers on the team.

New to the coaching staff this year are associated head coach Brian Dooley and assistant coach Katie Ely.

Missouri keeps rolling, shuts out Mississippi State

Story and photos by Kaysie Moore

The No. 16 Missouri soccer team shut out Mississippi State 2-0 Sunday afternoon at Walton Stadium, improving their record to 12-2 overall and 7-1 in SEC play. The Bulldogs fell to 7-7-1 and 0-7-1 (SEC).

Sophomore Abi Raymer and senior Taiwo Adeshigbin scored goals in the game. Raymer put the Tigers up in the 33rd minute, with junior Dominique Richardson assisting, her first on the year.  Adeshigbin scored in the 65th minute to wrap up the game.

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“We thought Mississippi State really challenged us today from a physical standpoint,” Missouri Coach Bryan Blitz said. “We felt our group responded well and we are happy to earn a Sunday win.”

Missouri had a 36-11 overall shots advantage and a 13-6 advantage in shots on goal.

Mizzou goalie McKenzie Sauerwein earned her sixth shutout of the season.

The Tigers travel to Florida next weekend to face the No. 17 Gators on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on Sun Sports. Missouri then plays at Alabama on Sunday, Oct. 14 at noon.

Missouri Soccer escapes Kentucky

Story by Kaysie Moore

Alyssa Diggs (14) celebrates one of her two goals in Missouri’s win over Memphis on Friday, Aug. 17. Diggs scored two more goals, including the game-winner in overtime in a 2-1 victory Kentucky on Friday, Oct. 5 in Columbia, Mo. Photo by Karen Mitchell.

No. 16 Missouri beat Kentucky 2-1 in overtime on Friday, Oct. 5 at Walton Stadium. Junior Alyssa Diggs scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 8th minute of overtime.

Diggs put Missouri on top in the first half with a goal in the 31st minute. Senior Haley Krentz, who made the original shot toward the Kentucky net, was credited with her seventh assist of the year after Kentucky’s goalie made the original save. Diggs slammed the ball into the net on the rebound opportunity to give the Tiger’s a 1-0 lead.

Missouri created many scoring opportunities throughout the game, but never seemed to turn those opportunities into goals.
The Tigers had a 19-15 shot advantage and a 7-5 lead in shots on goal.

Diggs had two close shots early in the second half. Freshman Candace Johnson made a 40-yard attempt that reflected off the goal. Junior Taylor Grant attempted a shot after a pass from Diggs, but it ricocheted off the crossbar.

Kentucky put up a good fight in the second half. The Wildcats tied the score in the 84th minute and threatened to score more before overtime.

Goalie McKenzie Sauerwein, however, made four saves for the Tigers.

The win improved the Tigers to 11-2 overall and 6-1 in the SEC. The Wildcats fell to 8-4-1 and 3-3-1.

Senior Taiwo Adeshigbin did not play due to illness, but coach Bryan Blitz expects her to be ready to play in the next game.

Mizzou remains at home to host Mississippi State on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.

Mizzou suffers first SEC loss in Tennessee

By Kaysie Moore

Missouri soccer team lost to Tennessee Sunday afternoon 1-0, falling to 10-2 overall and 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference. The Lady Vols improved to 8-3-2 and 3-2-1.

For most of the first half on Tennessee’s home field, both team’s offense played evenly. It wasn’t until the second half that Tennessee scored the first and only goal of the game.  Lady Vol Tori Bailey took the six-yard shot at the far post and out of reach of Missouri goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein in the 59th minute.

Sophomore Kaysie Clark appeared to even the score in the 86th minute, but she was ruled off sides. The Tigers had an 11-10 shots advantage and a 5-4 corner kicks edge in the contest.

Missouri hosts Kentucky on Friday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. The team then faces Mississippi State in another home game on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.

Missouri soccer keeps rolling in the SEC

The No. 9 Missouri Tigers soccer team won its fifth consecutive game in the SEC after a 2-1 victory Friday night against Georgia in Athens, Ga. The victory improved the Tigers to 10-1 overall and 5-0 in the SEC, while the Bulldogs fell to 5-6-1 and 1-3-1 in the SEC.

Sophomore Abi Raymer scored the first goal for Missouri in the 19th minute. Georgia tied it up in the 36th minute, but Missouri’s offense came back to score the winning goal less than five minutes into the second half. Junior Alyssa Diggs connected from 16 yards away, setting the final score at 2-1.

Missouri recorded 27 shots while Georgia had 16 and the Tigers held a 15-8 advantage in shots on goal.

Missouri’s goalie McKenzie Sauerwein made seven saves during the game, one of which helped guarantee a Tiger victory with eight minutes remaining.

The Tigers next stop is in Tennessee as they face the Volunteers on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.

No. 15 Missouri shuts out Vanderbilt, continues SEC winning streak

Story and Photos by Kaysie Moore

Missouri soccer improved to 9-1 overall and 4-0 in the Southeastern Conference after dominating Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon.

Shutting out the Commodores 2-0, Missouri tallied 39 shots against Vanderbilt’s six. Senior Jessica Greer opened the scoring 22 minutes in and  senior Taiwo Adeshigbin scored in the 47th minute of the second half.  Sophomore Kaysie Clark assisted on both goals.

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein made two saves in the game.

Vanderbilt fell to 4-4-3 overall and 1-1-2 in the SEC after the loss.

Up next, the 15th-ranked Tigers take on Georgia on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. CT), and then face Tennessee at 1 p.m. ET (Noon CT) on Sunday, Sept. 30.

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Mizzou’s second half goals improve them to 3-0 in the SEC

By Kaysie Moore

Missouri’s Abi Raymer during game against Tennessee Tech on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012 at Walton Stadium in Columbia, Mo. Raymer scored the game-tying goal in Missouri’ 2-1 victory over Ole Miss on Friday, Sept. 21,2012. Photo by Kaysie Moore.

Mizzou victoriously opened their home SEC play Friday night, improving their record to 8-1. The Tigers’ win over Ole Miss marks their third win in the SEC, making them 3-0 in the conference.

The final score of Friday’s game was 2-1, with Missouri only scoring in the second half. In the past few games, coach Bryan Blitz said the Tigers have consistently showed strength in the second half. However, the first half has not been as productive for the Tigers.

“We are a second-half team, but we can’t always rely on the second half,” Blitz said. “We have to learn how to start a lot quicker.”

Throughout the first half, the game was fairly even and it was a scoreless tie at halftime. Ole Miss scored their first and only goal in the 61st minute to take a 1-0, but the Tigers would respond.

The Missouri offense took over the second half as they put more pressure on Ole Miss’s defense. In the 67th minute, sophomore Abi Raymer tied it up after she fought off defenders for possession of the perfectly placed assist from senior Haley Krentz.

Krentz made six shots throughout the game, five of them coming in the second half. Her assist to Raymer was her sixth assist of the year on the play.

“We’re just taking it game by game,” Krentz said of the team’s 3-0 record in the SEC. “That’s awesome for being a newcomer in this conference, but we’re learning from each game.”

Redshirt freshman Lauren Flynn made the winning goal in the 78th minute off of a corner shot by Krentz. That was Flynn’s first-ever goal for the Tigers.

By the end of the game, Missouri outshot Ole Miss 26-14 and had 10 corners to the Rebel’s one. Missouri goalie McKenzie Sauerwein made four saves for the Tigers.

The Rebels fell to 8-2 and 1-2 in SEC play. The Tigers return to action when they host another SEC foe in Vanderbilt on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.

Mizzou soccer rolls, volleyball places second in tournament

By Darren Hellwege

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Darren Hellwege, Sports Commentator

There’s a lot of talk with week about the home opener football game on Saturday, but there’s a lot more going on in the world of Tiger athletics.

First, congratulations to everyone associated with Missouri volleyball as they hosted another successful Tiger Invitational. While Mizzou’s string of wins ended, having an event with some better teams including nationally ranked Michigan is more exciting for the fans, and a better tune-up for the Tiger players. There was some excellent volleyball over the weekend and the team has to be excited about the crowds — which ran around or even more than 2,000 both nights. Missouri finished second in the tournament.

This will be a season of ups and downs for Tiger volleyball. They looked very good in beating Virginia Tech and I expected them to give Michigan a good fight. Then, they came out and got clobbered by the Wolverines. New transfer Taylor Simpson is going to be a major factor, as are the new freshman particularly 6-foot-6-inch newbie Lydia Ely. But volleyball is very much a team sport and with this young bunch it’ll take a while for them to jell. It’ll be interesting to see how long they take to really come together as a unit, but I’m confident they eventually will with the excellent coaching Missouri boasts.

It’s natural to focus on the folks who get the big kills and play up front, but the most consistent player all weekend for Missouri may have been Jade Hayes, who’s settled into the starting libero position and did very well in all four matches. There is some measure of depth at the position, but expect Hayes to be an anchor of the back line all season.

While there has been inconsistent play for this young volleyball squad, the Missouri soccer team has been anything but. Beating California in Berkley last weekend show that the win over nationally ranked Memphis in their first match was no fluke. Missouri moved to 3-0 on the season with the 3-2 win.

There are a lot of exciting scoring options on the team but one that bears watching especially closely is Taiwo Adeshigbin. She scored a ton of goals playing junior college ball in Georgia but failed to notch a single goal last season. It had to occur to some that Adeshigbin was going to turn out to be a bust.

You can officially cross that possibility off the list. After excellent play in the home matches on the first weekend, Adeshigbin scored again in Berkeley and now has the team lead in points with three goals and an assist in three games. Alyssa Diggs, an All-Big 12 performer last season, has performed as expected and you have to be impressed with three assists in as many games from Haley Krentz. But here are several little things to keep an eye on as this team plays Friday night against Arizona State (weather permitting — we’re expecting what’s left of Hurricane Isaac to be dumping buckets of rain on Missouri by then) and then Sunday against Tennessee Tech.

• Missouri keeps making things happen on set plays, off free kicks and corner kicks. That’s a good sign this early in the year, a mark of a team that’s well coached and has come into the season prepared. It’ll be interesting to see if that continues through Southeastern Conference play, although there’ll be little in the SEC that’s much more challenging than playing at Cal.

• I can talk all day about the scoring, and everyone loves to see lots of goals, but the role McKenzie Sauerwein plays in these victories cannot be overestimated. It’s weird to think of a sophomore as an old vet, but after starting 20 games in the net last season, “Mac” looks the part of an experienced team leader. She makes good decisions, can be aggressive and physical when the time is right, and with this new set-up of four defenders in front of her she’s adjusted brilliantly. While Sabrina D’Angelo at South Carolina will be tough to unseat as the conference’s top goalie, Sauerwein can comfortably be considered among the top three or four netminders in the SEC.

• Some might think it a bit perverse for me to celebrate the Tigers three yellow cards in the second half against the Bears, but I really do think it’s a good sign. I like to look at the number of fouls and when Missouri leads in fouls it means they’ve played their style of game, they’ve played “BlitzBall.” Not nasty, but physical, attacking soccer that wins 50/50 balls and will not be intimidated. The foul numbers from Berkeley Sunday? Missouri 13, Cal four. As long as they can keep players on the pitch and not end up with yellows turning into reds, this style of play bodes well for the future of this club.

The Tigers come into the weekend ranked as high as No. 10 in some polls, and while I put very little stock in the soccer polling process, it’s a nice thing for Mizzou to receive this kind of attention and respect nationally. They play a tough club in Arizona State Friday. The Sun Devils went to the NCAA tournament two years in a row before an injury-riddled year gave them a losing record in 2011. They’ve started 1-2 on the season with losses to Cal State-Northridge and San Diego State but I expect a good challenge out of them. Then, after what should be an easier time with Tennessee Tech on Sunday, the Tigers travel to Ohio State next weekend before starting SEC play at Auburn and South Carolina the second weekend of September. Give Bryan Blitz credit, this team’s non-conference schedule and preseason conditioning will have them ready to take on whatever their new conference foes can throw at them.

SEC football starts today as Vanderbilt hosts South Carolina. It’s a game full of importance for Tiger fans as both the Commodores and Gamecocks will be on the MU schedule this season. South Carolina in particular is a team Mizzou could compete with for a championship in the SEC Eastern Division. Vanderbilt’s not expected to be among the stronger teams in the league, so we’ll be watching for signs that they could exceed expectations. As for South Carolina, they have a very strong defense, the big question is on offense. If you think the talk you’ve heard about how strong the SEC teams can be on the defensive line is just blowing smoke, tune in (the game will be on ESPN with a 6 p.m. kickoff) and watch out for No. 7, a dude with one of my favorite names in the league, Jadeveon Clowney. He’s an incredibly talented end and as a sophomore, a guy we may be watching for some time in Columbia East if he doesn’t leave early for the NFL. Another major player to watch is Marcus Lattimore. When healthy he’s as good as they get but the tailback missed most of the second half of last season with an injury. The Gamecocks are also strong at quarterback with Connor Shaw, and if they can put all the parts together to be as strong on offense as they are on defense the Gamecocks could be a serious national championship contender.

The other early game this week was to be Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech, but it’s been suspended due to Hurricane Isaac. That leads me to close by sending prayers and best wishes to all the folks on the Gulf Coast. Hammond, home of Southeastern Louisiana, is directly across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans so they won’t get the full brunt of Isaac but they’re dealing with some ugly stuff. I’ll be cheer for the Tiger on Saturday but also wishing for the safety of this week’s opponent, their classmates, and families.



Mizzou soccer opener a thrill, but keep it in perspective

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Darren Hellwege, Sports Commentator


I’m usually not a fan of clichés in sports. “You gotta take ‘em one at a time.” “You dance with the one who brung ya.” “It’s a (barn burner, nip and tuck, game of inches)”

So when you talk about “perspective” in sports, my eyes glaze over a little. But, sometimes, you have to be reminded that, indeed, one must maintain one’s perspective when it comes to sports.

It was true as I talked Mizzou football with Bob Fescoe on 610 Sports in Kansas City this week. Don’t overreact to a couple of mistakes by James Franklin, don’t overreact to a poor scrimmage or a great one from Dorial Green-Beckham. It’s a long season. Perspective.

So, it’s not time to proclaim the 2012 Missouri soccer team world beaters yet. It’s not yet time to declare the new formation Bryan Blitz sent out against Memphis in the team’s opener Friday night the greatest thing since the Dutch gave the world “Total Football.” Let’s hold our ballots putting Taiwo Adeshigbin up for sportsperson of the Year.

But after one game, we do know that there’s reason to think this might be a very exciting year for the Tigers. I wasn’t sure a week ago what to expect. This team returned a great deal of talent from last year’s team, but last year’s team wasn’t that great. Nobody ranked them in the preseason, and the Southeastern Conference coaches picked them fifth out of seven teams in the Eastern Division. Then, the team went out and got thumped 4-0 in their only preseason exhibition against Southern Methodist.

But we may have learned yesterday that those expecting little out of this club were badly mistaken. We already knew the team could play defense, and they did that well last night, Memphis getting only a few serious runs at the Tiger goal, and notching only two shots and one goal in the second half. McKenzie Sauerwein was solid in goal, and while she’s only a sophomore she already has 19 starts and a maturity and cool in the box that makes it seem as if she’s older.

There was a new-look formation for the Tigers Friday, with the Tigers sending out four defenders but placing Danielle Nottingham in the back after she started 19 games at forward in 2011. The team’s 4-3-3 set will make for continued strong defense, but will give them flexibility as the backs can move forward and score, as last night proved.

Ironically, Missouri got its first goal of the year from the defenders, but not from Nottingham. Candace Johnson, the only true freshman who got picked to start against Memphis, scored in the 15th minute to give the Tigers a lead they’d never relinquish. It may be a sign that we’ll see something that might be remarkable, and a little scary, to think of — a team even more aggressive and forward-thinking than past Blitz teams. After one game the new formation looks like a winner, and Blitz said after the game he’s sticking with it for the time being.

Whether it is a success in terms of wins and losses at the end of the year, this philosophy will make for some soccer that will be very fun to watch, and while the team played with a somewhat conservative, tentative first-game jitters in the first half, we saw in the second half exactly how frenzied this offense could be. In a period of nine minutes and 12 seconds, the Tigers blasted four goals, two from Adeshigbin and then two from Diggs.

It’s a great start, an exciting start. But…perspective.

This team came into the season with a lot of confidence, maybe too much. Blitz described the team’s attitude going into last weekend’s debacle in Dallas as “too cool for school.” Perhaps getting their rears handed to them in an embarrassing loss to the Mustangs might be the best thing that could have happened to the Tigers.

“We learned a good lesson from SMU, that winning is hard,” Blitz said. “We weren’t prepared, and we just didn’t compete.”

Adeshigbin’s breakthrough may be big news for the Tigers. The team already features proven scorers on the front line. The top three scorers from last year — Nottingham, Dominique Richardson and Diggs — all return, as does assist leader Kaysie Clark. Add in big scoring from Adeshigbin, and we could see a team that challenges the high-scoring Blitz teams of the late ‘90s. That kind of scoring combined with strong defensive play and a tough goalkeeper and this team could beat an awful lot of teams in their new league, the SEC.


It’s just one game. Yes, it’s a win over a highly-ranked team, but this was not a full-strength Memphis club. They were missing three top players, including All-American Christabel Oduro, as the U-20 World Cup is being played in Japan. The Tigers won seven in a row last year, a team record. The team then lost three of the next four, all to ranked teams (Florida, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M) and never recovered.

But there’s one good about being warned about over-confidence. It means you have reason to be pretty darn confident to start with, and one game into the 2012 season, the Missouri Tigers have that reason. Explosive offense, solid defense, strong fan support —  we’ll keep our perspective, but we’ll also know that this could be a truly excellent team.

We’ll know a lot more by the end of the weekend. The Tigers next play a team in California-Santa Barbara that had a losing record last season and which lost Friday in overtime to a team with whom we should have some familiarity, the Kansas Jayhawks. The Tigers should dominate the Gauchos. If they come away with another strong victory, it we can add to the level of excitement about the team. If they lose, maybe the Memphis win was a fluke.

Either way, we’ll keep it all in perspective.

Adeshigbin Breakthrough Exciting for Teammates

Taiwo Adeshigbin came into Mizzou from the junior college ranks with a lot of expectation, having notched 66 goals in two seasons. But we learned over the course of the 2011 season to keep her 66 goals at Georgia Perimeter in perspective. Maybe she wouldn’t step up to the challenge of play in the top level of college ball.

But Blitz told us before Friday’s game he expected a lot from Adeshigbin this year, and made a comparison to another Mizzou athlete. “It’s kind of like (Ricardo) Ratliffe in basketball, it took a while to get acclimated to everything at a new level, whether you’re a junior college player or a freshman. She really has embraced the challenge to work hard.” The comparison leaves Adeshigbin with some big shoes to fill. Ratliffe came into Mizzou out of junior college ball and eventually became one of the nation’s top power forwards before beginning his professional career recently in South Korea. Adeshigbin has a terrific attitude, consistently deflecting praise to her teammates while talking about her two-goal performance against Memphis. But while her second goal was the result of a dandy pass and a big of good fortune which found her alone in front of the goal and able to simply nod in the short header, her first goal was one she created entirely herself with some slick dribbling and a powerful right leg.

And while she wasn’t bragging after the game, it was clear others were thrilled to see Adeshigbin get the chance to become part of the score sheet. After rushing through responses to questions about her own performance, Diggs broke into a wide grin when I asked about Adeshigbin.

“Taiwo has been working her butt off all summer. She is an unsung hero, she is awesome.”

Working her butt off might even be an understatement. Blitz said he almost has to tell Adeshigbin to hit the breaks now and then. When he spotted her working out with a medicine ball in between two-a-day practices, he had to tell her to take it easy, to get some rest.

It’s a lesson sports reminds us of in many ways, many times.

One final note: I didn’t see if Mizzou Athletic Director Mike Alden was in the house Friday night, but the strong crowd has to be a great sign for all Tiger athletics. There’s a buzz around everything happening in black and gold with the move to the SEC, and to draw the sixth largest crowd ever for a Tiger soccer match in the opener is a good sign that we’ll see a lot of fan interest, and it’s a pretty safe bet that it won’t just be for soccer.

And there’s something interesting about those games on the chart of best attended soccer matches at Walton — most of those five games ahead of the 1,169 last night were against old rivals from the Big 12, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. The best-attended game ever at Walton, oddly enough, wasn’t a conference game, though. It was a non-conference game, the season opener in 2001, in which 1,926 fans watched the Tigers beat…the University of Memphis.

What’s next?

Sunday the Tigers take on the Gauchos of Cal-Santa Barbara. UCSB went 7-11-2 last season, and while they were not much of an offensive threat last year, scoring just 19 goals in 20 games, they return eight of their top nine players and Makenna Henry, who started all but one game in goal for the Gauchos. Henry and senior midfielder Erin Ortega were both named to the preseason All-Big West team. UCSB is 0-1 on the year after losing in overtime Friday at Kansas.
The Tigers then take to the road, playing Sunday Aug. 26 at California. The Bears opened with a 3-0 win over Pacific, getting two goals from senior Betsy Hassett, who recently played for New Zealand in the 2012 Olympics in London. The Bears were ranked No. 19 in the Top Drawer Soccer preseason rankings.


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