Luebbert leads Mizzou soccer past Iowa State

The Tigers came to life in the second half to pull ahead of the Cyclones on Sunday.

Maneater File Photo

The extreme humidity and 88-degree heat provided a sluggish atmosphere for Mizzou soccer’s home opener Sunday, and the game play resembled the weather as the Tigers battled Iowa State. The two teams played tough, sticky defense throughout the game’s first 50 minutes before the Tigers broke through on goals by senior Savannah Trujillo and sophomore Sarah Luebbert for a 2-0 victory.

Iowa State controlled the pace of the game in the first half by consistently breaking up Missouri’s runs and efficiently clearing the ball from its defensive area. A major key to the Cyclones’ defensive effort was their ability to lock down Luebbert and senior Jessica Johnson from getting any scoring chances in the early going.

Despite the shortage of chances around the goal, both sides had opportunities to open the scoring in the first half but were unable to convert. Preventing the Cyclones from scoring was Tigers redshirt senior Kristen Rivers in goal, who was the lone bright spot for Mizzou in the first half. She made three saves in the period, including back-to-back saves in the 24th minute, first denying ISU sophomore Hannah Cade and then holding off the rebound attempt from freshman Courtney Powell.

Mizzou’s best chance to strike on the other end came at the very end of the half. In the 43rd minute, freshman forward Morcquess Oliphant had two shots blocked around the net, and the teams entered halftime tied 0-0.

However, that changed very quickly in the second half for Mizzou. Trujillo gave the Tigers a 1-0 edge in the 50th minute. After a cross from Luebbert to the left side of the box, Trujillo chipped in her first goal of the season from a few feet out.

Shortly after, Luebbert scored a goal of her own. Assisted by redshirt sophomore Madison Lewis, Luebbert gracefully headed the ball past the outstretched arms of freshman goalkeeper Dayja Schwichtenberg and into the goal. This tally gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead, and from there the team did not look back.

Much like the Tiger’s Friday night 3-1 win over Illinois, Missouri looked like a completely different team in the second half of Sunday’s contest. Mizzou has outscored opponents 5-0 in the second half in its first two games.

Offensively, the Tigers came out far more aggressively after the break. Mizzou had 11 shots and six shots on goal in the second half, compared to just six shots and one shot on goal in the first. Defensively, the Tigers found a way to become even more energetic and physical, easily swarming any attempt to enter the box. Mizzou held the Cyclones to six shots and only two shots on goal in the second half.

Bryan Blitz’s changed goalkeepers during halftime for the second straight game as junior Kelsey Dossey came on to replace Rivers for the second half. Last season, it was Dossey who started the most for the Tigers as Rivers appeared in just one game while she recovered from an ACL injury. In this game, the two keepers combined for five saves and a clean sheet.

Coach Blitz remains unsure of which keeper holds the edge.

“They’re so close,” Blitz said. “So we are going to split them until we decide not to. They are both playing well and both winning games for us. We’re just lucky to have two.”

The Tigers return to the pitch against Oregon State on Aug. 25 in Corvallis, Oregon, at 7:30 p.m.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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