Blitz gets 250th win as Missouri topples Kentucky 4-1

In an offensive showcase, Missouri’s high press essentially ended the game before halftime.
Missouri soccer's starting lineup prepares for its win over Kentucky on Nov. 1, 2020.

On a windy Sunday afternoon, Missouri women’s soccer beat Kentucky 4-1, giving coach Bryan Blitz the 250th win of his Mizzou career.

The win brought Blitz’s career record to 250-213-38, making him one of just four active SEC coaches to hit 250 wins at their current school.

“I’m more excited about the win than the 250,” Blitz said. “But I do look back and, you know, it’s a lot of people that played a part in that. I feel fortunate to be here at Missouri.”

All four of the Tigers’ goals came before halftime, each from a different player.

To kick off the offensive showcase, Macy Trujillo worked her way into a scoring position and hammered in a well-placed cross from midfielder Zoe Cross. The goal came after just four minutes and marked Trujillo’s second goal in two games.

Trujillo, who has traditionally played as a midfielder for Missouri, received a start in the front three as a forward. It was a position she grew up playing but hasn’t played in since high school.

“It just felt good to go back to my roots,” Trujillo said. “I’m the type of forward that love[s] making those runs behind and getting on the end of balls.”

Two minutes later, Missouri scored again on a cross from senior Lindsey Whitmore. In what originally counted as a goal for Trujillo, Whitmore crossed the ball into the box, where it bounced off the underneath of the crossbar and landed behind the goal line. Trujillo rebounded the ball into the net, but upon later review, Whitmore was given the goal off of the original bounce.

Throughout the game, Missouri dominated in one-on-one challenges. Kentucky struggled to combat Missouri’s effective use of the attacking press.

The press, a staple of Blitz’s strategies this season, is shaping up to be a crucial tool for Missouri as the season continues. Going into their next outing, a two-game weekend against Georgia and Florida, goalkeeper Isabella Alessio views it as a necessity in controlling the game Missouri wants to play.

“Our press is huge for us,” Alessio said. “We make teams play how we want them to play, and that’s them being on their heels and us pressing. The floodgates are open now.”

Freshman Jenna Bartels and sophomore Eryka McIntyre both scored their first career goals in the game as well.

In the 29th minute of the match, Bartels stole the ball off of an attacking press and capitalized on a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, slotting the ball just to the left and underneath the keeper.

Shortly after, McIntyre would score from distance off the rebound of a Missouri free kick that hit the wall. The shot, an impressive ball to the top right of the net, put Missouri up 4-0 in the 32nd minute.

Defensively, Missouri came within seconds of a shutout.

Kentucky’s only goal of the match came with four seconds left as Missouri’s Haley Steinke was called for a foul in the penalty box on Kentucky’s Jordyn Rhodes.

Rhodes capitalized on the opportunity, scoring off of the penalty shot and signaling an end to the game.

Missouri’s next game comes on November 6th on the road against a Georgia team on a three-game losing streak. Missouri will seek its third win of the season before the SEC tournament starts on November 13th.

Edited by Jack Soble | jsoble@themaneater.com

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