Despite fast start, Mizzou soccer falls to Iowa

Two late goals help Iowa to a 2-1 victory.
Missouri Junior Kaitlyn Clark, 7, makes a run during the first half of the game facing the Central Arkansas Bears.

In a 2-1 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes, Missouri soccer effectively controlled all aspects of the game in the first half. From the opening kick, the Tigers dictated tempo and dominated time of possession.

This led to Mizzou out-shooting Iowa 10-0 shots in the first 45 minutes. This was drastically different from the Tigers’ last game, in which they were down 2-0 going into the second half.

“We came out flying because that was one thing Friday we didn’t really do,” sophomore Melanie Donaldson said. “We did not come out strong right away, so that was one thing we really focused on.”

The Tigers’ game plan culminated in Donaldson's goal in the 17th minute. She headed the ball off the top post during a corner kick.

At the start of the second half, Iowa finally began to assert pressure on the Tigers.

“We took them for granted there at halftime,” Donaldson said.

The second half marked a distinct change in the game: Iowa became the aggressor. Hawkeye freshman Devin Burns evened the score in the 82nd minute.

“We let them hang around,” coach Bryan Blitz said. “When you let a team hang around like that, a Big Ten team, they will always be in the game. Credit to them at half time they made adjustments.”

The Tigers out shot Iowa 13-9 in the second half, but they couldn’t score despite their numerous opportunities.

“We had multiple chances, so the effort was there. Just weren’t clinical enough in our finishing,” Blitz said.

With the score deadlocked at 1-1, the teams headed to overtime.

In the 99th minute, Iowa’s Isabella Blackman completed the Hawkeye comeback by scoring the winning goal. Kaleigh Haus assisted the goal.

The Blackman goal handed Mizzou its first loss of the year — the team’s first-ever loss to Iowa.

“It’s always tough to see that happen,” freshman Sarah Luebbert said about the loss. “But we just have to learn from it, work harder, move on, and make sure we finish those chances later in the season.”

The Tigers are out-shooting opponents 47-15 in 2016. Blitz said that finishing the opportunities is the next step the team needs to make.

“Put it in the back of the net, that’s the hardest part of the game,” he said. “So we are about 75 percent there, and the hardest part is that last 25 percent.”

The Tigers look to correct early season mistakes in their next game against Illinois 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Edited by Peter Baugh | pbaugh@themaneater.com

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