Missouri soccer defeats Montana 4-3

Fighting through a windy and brisk night, the Missouri (4-1-2) soccer team was able to beat out Montana (3-4-0) in a 4-3 victory on Friday night in Columbia.

The Tigers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win it in double overtime, marking coach Bryan Blitz’s 200th victory with the program.

The game looked bleak at first for Mizzou, when the Grizzlies got on the board in the fifth minute. Senior Chloe Torres volleyed the ball from 10 yards out past senior goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein off a corner from freshman Hallie Widner.

With countless aggressive attacks, the Tigers did not seem to be able to convert, having an abundance of offside calls.

It wasn’t until the 25th minute when Mizzou was able to respond when junior midfielder Reagan Russell dribbled past four Montana defenders and up the line to feed freshman forward Savannah Trujillo, who wasn’t able to put it in, hitting it off the left post. The ball then landed at the feet of freshman midfielder Alli Magaletta, who scored the rebound, marking her first goal of her collegiate career and tying the game 1-1.

Mizzou started the second half off strong, taking as many shots as possible in an attempt to take the lead.

Despite this, the Grizzlies took it in the 70th minute with a cross from junior Mackenzie Akins that was headed by senior Tyler Adair and into the Tigers’ net.

Montana extended its lead only two minutes later, when freshman Allie Lucas received a rebounded save off Sauerwein, putting it into the right side and in, putting the away side up 3-1.

“It was just miscommunication between me and a defender,” Sauerwein said of the third goal. “She thought I called it but I said away and the ball went off my foot and to their forward.”

Having only 18 minutes left, it seemed to be over for Missouri. However, the players refused to give in, responding just four minutes later, with a bullet from 16 yards out by sophomore midfielder Melanie Donaldson, assisted by senior midfielder Kaysie Clark.

The Tigers kept persisting, with numerous attacks at goal. In the 81st minute, senior forward Taylor Grant made a run into the box but was brought down by Montana senior Brooke Moody, at which point a penalty was awarded to Mizzou.

Junior defender Candace Johnson stepped up to take it, sending the ball to the right side of the goal and in to tie the game 3-3,

“Earlier this season, (coach) Blitz told me I would be taking (penalty kicks),” Johnson said. “I wanted to win, so whatever I can do to help, I’ll do it.”

The game then went on to overtime, where Mizzou came out aggressively. One minute in, the Grizzlies came close to scoring an own goal off a Missouri cross, but was kept out by a diving save from goalkeeper Kailey Norman.

The Tigers continued to shoot well into double overtime when, five minutes from the final whistle, Magaletta took a shot from inside the box that was blocked by a Montana defender. Clark managed to pick it up and feed it to Grant, who one-timed the ball into the back of the net, giving Mizzou the victory.

“It was a hard-fought win, and I think that’s a good one to have in your book,” Grant said.

Along with coach Blitz’s milestone, this game marks the team’s second to last match prior to SEC play, as well as the fourth game of the season to go to overtime.

Blitz explained his success with the program simply: “We’ve just had good players.”

The Tigers play their next game against California State, Northridge on Sunday at home before beginning conference play.

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