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Monday, September 25, 2017

Missouri soccer falls to Northwestern in second-half thriller

Tess Rellihan almost equalized for the Tigers in the 87th minute in the 2-1 loss.

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Maneater File Photo

Sept. 8, 2017

When senior Jessica Johnson fired a shot into the top corner of the goal in the 61st minute of Missouri soccer’s contest against Northwestern, the Tigers looked primed for their first victory in five games. Two late goals from Northwestern, however, propelled the Wildcats to a 2-1 victory in Evanston, Illinois.

The game’s first half was closely contested and yielded no goals, leaving the teams tied 0-0 at halftime. The scoreless half came thanks in large part to both teams’ keepers, who each made several saves to keep the game knotted up.

Johnson’s strike in the 61st minute was the game’s first breakthrough. Freshman midfielder Zoe Cross had her first career assist on the goal.

Mizzou (2-4-1) did not hold the lead for long though. In the 66th minute, freshman Macy Trujillo committed a foul in the box, giving Northwestern a penalty kick. Northwestern junior Marisa Viggiano stepped up for Northwestern and tied the game 1-1.

The goal gave the Wildcats momentum, leading to their second goal of the match. In the 81st minute, Northwestern freshman Mikayla Hampton dribbled by a defender and fired into the bottom right corner of the goal, putting Northwestern ahead 2-1.

The Tigers nearly equalized on a great chance in the game’s dying moments; Tess Rellihan beat the keeper, but her shot went just wide of the right post for a Northwestern goal kick. The Wildcats outshot the Tigers 20-15 on the night.

Missouri head coach Bryan Blitz remained positive post match despite his team’s four-game losing streak.

"This was our most complete game to date,” Blitz said in a press release. “It's something to build on for Sunday. I always want to win but I thought we had a good performance. We have to get a complete game. Once we do that, I think we'll go on a run."

Missouri will look to end the streak Sunday, when the Tigers take on San Diego State at 6:30 p.m. at Walton Stadium.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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