Missouri soccer prepares to take on Mississippi State

After a 2OT draw against LSU, Coach Blitz and his Tigers look to get back on the winning trail.
Missouri midfielder Zoe Cross strikes a ball during the Tigers' upset win over Vanderbilt on Oct. 3, 2020.

Missouri took an underrated LSU team through 110 minutes of play, only to end in a 1-1 final this past Friday.

After LSU forward Taylor Dobles put them ahead in the 38th minute, Missouri’s Bella Alessi responded with a relentless solo attack, picking up a loose ball from the LSU keeper. The game remained scoreless through almost 70 more minutes of gameplay, despite numerous chances to score from both sides.

Missouri had a lot of positives come from the draw. The Tigers had more shots (+10), more saves (+1) and more corners (+8) than the visiting team. Seniors Lindsey Whitmore and Bella Alessi pelted LSU’s net with shots while Zoe Cross and Grace Kitts dominated the midfield.

This Saturday, the Tigers are looking to get a road victory over Mississippi State, as Coach Blitz is still seeking his 250th career win for Missouri. Mississippi State, however, remains undefeated at home this year, and the last time Missouri won against the Bulldogs was in 2017.

The first half of the regular season has come with its challenges for Missouri, their record being 1-2-1. Blitz, however, has been satisfied with how they’ve been playing.

“I feel good about how the last two weeks went, with a loss on the road and a tie against an underrated LSU team,” Blitz said. “But like all SEC games, we have to be on our A-game.”

Mississippi State, who are 2-1-2, are coming off a tough loss to No. 9 Texas A&M. The Bulldogs couldn’t create many opportunities and found themselves playing defense for the majority of the game. Missouri will look to exploit this further with their high-pressure tactics.

The Tigers will rely on in-form Bella Alessi and star forward Julissa Cisneros to secure the win. The pair had seven shots against LSU. Blitz hopes to convert these opportunities into goals.

“We’re still creating opportunities, which is very important for me,” Blitz said. “But we’re still missing that final piece of finishing low, waist or lower. That’s the next piece for us.”

Missouri’s offense will be matched by the Bulldog’s strong goalkeeping presence. Freshman Maddy Anderson made eight saves against Texas A&M, saving the Bulldogs from a much larger defeat.

Missouri hopes to find their way back on the winning trail. Kickoff is this Saturday, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.

Edited by Jack Soble | jsoble@themaneater.com

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