Mississippi State entered its game against No. 16 Missouri with no wins this season in Southeastern Conference play. The Tigers kept it that way Sunday afternoon as they over-powered the Bulldogs 2-0 at Walton Stadium in Columbia.
The victory finished off a successful weekend for the Tigers (12-2, 7-1 SEC), who pulled off a thrilling overtime win over Kentucky 2-1 Friday night.
The Tigers and Bulldogs remained scoreless until the 33rd minute when sophomore midfielder Abi Raymer netted her sixth goal of the season after junior Dominique Richardson sent a ball through the middle of the goal box.
“I think it was deflected off the keeper or one of their players so it came to me,” Raymer said. “I took my touch around the girl and took one more touch and passed it into the near post. We knew we had to come out strong. We knew we had to come out strong. We need to work on getting the shots on goal more, but we’re getting there.”
Raymer and junior forward Alyssa Diggs lead the team tied for most goals with six on the season.
Mississippi State entered Columbia leading the conference in fouls this season. Both teams combined for a very physical game with a total of 29 fouls in the game (12 for the Bulldogs, 17 for the Tigers).
“If we didn’t step up, we were going to be in trouble,” said coach Brian Blitz. “I thought they did a good job to try to physically punish them and let us be the aggressor as opposed to the other team.”
The Tigers pounded the visitors with a fast and furious offensive attack, barraging 36 shots toward Mississippi State goalkeeper Skylar Rosson.
Taiwo Adeshigbin gave Missouri a cushion in the 65th minute. She launched a shot from the right side of 18-yard box. The ball beat Rosson as it banked off the left post, bounced over the goal line then back out.
Adeshigbin returned to the pitch Sunday after recovering from the flu but did not start the game for Missouri. She sat out Friday night’s game versus Kentucky. Missouri’s sophomore goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein notched her sixth shutout of the season facing only 11 shots from Mississippi State.
Missouri hits the road next weekend for a key matchup against No. 17 Florida. The Gators and Tigers sit tied atop the SEC East with identical 7-1 records. Last year, the Tigers fell to the Gators 2-0 in Columbia. Missouri also faces Alabama on Sunday. Two weeks remain in SEC conference play.
“We all just have to win our own individual battles (against Florida) and go out hard and then come together as a team,” said Raymer. “We’re a new team this year we’re trying to forget about last year and focus on this year, take it one game at a time.”