Freshman attackers Tess Rellihan and Lindsey Whitmore shined Sunday night as Missouri soccer (3-4-1) snapped its four-game losing streak in a 2-1 victory over San Diego State.
The first half started with Mizzou nearly scoring in the opening minutes. Freshman Zoe Cross fired a shot just wide right of the goal post on the first shot of the game. It was Mizzou’s best scoring chance until late in the first half.
San Diego State struck first in the sixth minute. Freshman Mia Root collected a rebound off the left post and swiftly chipped it in for her third goal of the season.
The Aztecs had control for most of the first half, but Mizzou came alive in the last 15 minute. First, Rellihan scored on an assist from redshirt sophomore Madison Lewis. In the 36th minute, she blasted a shot right into the upper right post from outside the box. Rellihan has emerged as a scoring threat early in the season and has two goals in the past three games.
“I feel good,” Rellihan said. “It helps my confidence a lot. Finally getting over the hump of scoring my first college goal was a big deal because you always have in your head, ‘I need to score.’ I need to prove myself … Coming out with the second goal two games later really helps.”
Mizzou then missed a chance to take control of the game in the 41st minute. Sophomore Sarah Luebbert was the only player on the backside of the defense, with a one-on-one challenge against the Aztec goalkeeper, redshirt sophomore Gabby English. However, she jumped past the defenders too early and was called offsides.
The teams would stay knotted at 1-1 until the 69th minute. Mizzou took the lead behind a miscue from English. She left the net to retrieve a cross near the box, but after a collision with a Mizzou player near the left post, the net was wide open with English on the ground. Whitmore scored an easy goal to the opposite side of the box to win the game for the Tigers.
“It was amazing pressing from our whole team,” Whitmore said. “[Savannah Trujillo] pressed the goalkeeper and final defenders, got them to make a mistake. I was just there to clean it up.”
San Diego State headed into the game after defeating No. 22 Nebraska 2-1 in double overtime. Nebraska defeated Mizzou 3-0 earlier this year.
The Tigers move into the first game of Southeastern Conference play at home on Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Georgia. The Bulldogs (4-3-1) head into the matchup after destroying Coastal Carolina 9-1.
Edited by Joe Noser | Jnoser@themaneater.com