For nearly the entire game, Missouri soccer was able to slow down star Tennessee striker Khadija Shaw. However, three minutes into overtime with the score tied 2-2, Mizzou allowed a short free kick and Shaw capitalized, scoring her 11th goal of the season and propelling No. 21 Tennessee to a 3-2 comeback victory at Walton Stadium.
Missouri led for a majority of the game thanks to a brace from forward Sarah Luebbert. The sophomore opened the scoring for the Tigers in the 24th minute. After a nice bit of passing in the box, Luebbert received the ball and fired it off the post and past Tennessee keeper Shae Yanez. Seniors Kaitlyn Clark and Jessica Johnson assisted on the goal.
“Tennessee gave us the inside channels so I just cut in and Kate played a great one-time ball to me,” Luebbert said. “She made it easy for me to get the shot off.”
The goal was Luebbert’s third of the season. Luebbert, who was the 2016 SEC Freshman of the Year, has struggled this season after scoring 10 goals for the Tigers last season.
The first half was a physical affair, with neither team controlling possession, and the Tigers entered the break up 1-0. Tennessee doubled Mizzou’s seven shots in the first half with 14, but the teams were even in shots on goal with three each.
Tennessee came out strong in the second half, and after Mizzou goalkeeper Kristen Rivers made two huge diving saves, Tennessee finally broke through. In the 55th minute, Volunteers sophomore Mary Alice Vignola cut inside after a fake and scored on a hard curling shot into the bottom left corner of the net.
The Tigers responded quickly, as Luebbert struck again for Mizzou less than two minutes later. Luebbert drew a penalty and calmly slotted it into the net, scoring her fourth goal of the season and second of the game to put Mizzou ahead 2-1.
The Tigers looked primed to close out the game before the Volunteers equalized in the 86th minute. Rivers made a diving save for the Tigers, but failed to secure the ball and Volunteers forward Erin Gilroy scored off the rebound, sending the game to extra time with the score tied 2-2.
Three minutes into the first extra time period, Tennessee’s Shaw drew a free kick just outside the box. On the resulting free kick, she scored the game-winning goal on a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
"The end result was disappointing but I'm still proud of the effort our players gave,” said Mizzou coach Bryan Blitz. “The goal is to make it to Orange Beach (location of SEC Tournament) and that's still in play. It might not look like how we want it too, but It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.”
Mizzou needs three wins in their last four games to qualify for the SEC tournament. The Tigers’ next chance will come Thursday at 6 p.m. at Kentucky.
Edited by Eli Lederman | firstname.lastname@example.org