Missouri soccer wins in overtime after Hess' goal

Allie Hess scored a late goal to lift Mizzou above Mississippi State.

Despite a sluggish start, Missouri soccer (8-3, 3-1) outlasted Mississippi State 2-1 with a late goal from budding star sophomore Allie Hess.

“We needed to match their effort,” coach Bryan Blitz said. “They just out-efforted us, and that is unacceptable in our program.”

Defensively, neither team was able to assert itself early in the first half. The effort seemed there, but the Tigers struggled to create their usual number of offensive opportunities as Mississippi State (5-6, 0-4) prevented Mizzou from finding a rhythm. Mississippi State held Mizzou to seven shots in the first half, none of which came from leading scorer Sarah Luebbert.

After 37 minutes of defensive struggle, Mississippi State’s Jen Huckaby scored to put the Bulldogs on top 1-0.

“Credit to Mississippi State — they dominated us in the first half in every facet, from first to second ball,” Blitz said. “They were well coached. They deserved to be up.”

But Mississippi State couldn’t create another scoring opportunity.

“At halftime, we talked about who we want to be moving forward,” Blitz said. “It’s a really good opportunity to show each other, show our fans and our university what kind of statement we are going to make when we didn’t perform well in the first half. What’s nice about soccer is you get two halves.”

Mizzou didn’t need to capitalize on an early opportunity to score. Junior Kaitlyn Clark’s corner kick deflected off of Mississippi State’s Johanna Hamblett for an own goal in the 57th minute.

After tying the score, Mizzou established themselves and their brand of soccer, smothering the Mississippi State defense with a constant attack.

With the score knotted at one, Mizzou headed into their fourth overtime game of the season. In the 98th minute, Kaitlyn Clark’s corner kick went straight to Hess, who headed it in for the game-winning goal.

“I just saw Allie Hess on the back post, wide open,” Clark said. “I saw her head. That was what I was aiming for, and it got there.”

That was Hess’ third goal in three games, leaving her with five on the year.

“Blitz keeps telling me shoot, get in the box, just do your thing, express yourself,” Hess said. “I feel like in order to do that, I need to take a risk. Just kind of go for it, and go at it, and I think it is paying off for me.”

Next up for the Tigers are two Southeastern Conference away games against Auburn on Sept. 30 and Texas A&M on Oct. 6.

Edited by Peter Baugh | pbaugh@themaneater.com

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