Mizzou soccer has little trouble defeating San Francisco

The Tigers beat San Francisco 4-1 and look to continue their success heading into their SEC schedule.
MU women's soccer players jump to touch the tiger teeth as they enter the field before the first game of the season facing Central Arkansas.

The Missouri soccer team beat San Francisco handedly 4-1 on Friday. The Tigers continued to perform well offensively, scoring four goals in a game for the first time since the 2014 season.

“We were pretty tidy with our shots,” coach Bryan Blitz said. “Our [shot] percentage is going up. I don’t know if it was a breakout game, but I’ll take the win.”

The shot percentage was higher this game than in previous contests for the Tigers. They scored four goals on 18 shots. Earlier in the season, they had trouble finishing shot opportunities. Tonight, though, they had no problem putting the ball in the back of the net, increasing their confidence as a team.

“[Scoring goals] definitely helps our confidence,” sophomore Allie Hess said. “We work in practice for a solid 30 minutes on finishing alone. To see us actually get it in the net and scoring goals is a great feeling.”

Mizzou was also able to be successful defensively this game, only allowing one goal on nine shots. Sophomore Savannah Trujillo believes offensive success paired nicely with defensive success.

“I think we’re pretty good in all aspects of the field,” Trujillo said. “Game-to-game basis, we could be having a really good defensive game or we could be having a really good offensive game. It is just a matter of piecing those together to have one good defensive and offensive game. I think we did that tonight pretty well.”

Freshman Sarah Luebbert had a goal for the third straight game. Despite her impressive scoring output, Luebbert claims that getting goals is not something she thinks about over the course of a game.

“I try not think of it as scoring goals,” Luebbert said. “I just try to come out everyday and just play a good game and play with the team.”

Playing as a team, Blitz believes, has been key to Luebbert and other scorer’s success. He claims the offensive output the team has enjoyed is only possible because of the work players are putting in across the pitch.

“[The scorers] are surrounded by older players that are doing the dirty work that allows them to let their natural talents to come to light,” Blitz said.

According to Trujillo, part of the team’s tendency to create shots is the coaching staff’s insistence for those in the attacking positions to “express themselves.”

“Every game, Blitz is always telling us to express ourselves,” Trujillo said. “If you're on the field, you pretty much have the freedom to do whatever you want. [Expressing yourself] is basically being able to show people the player you are without having to say any words.”

Mizzou has one more game against Notre Dame on Sunday at 4 p.m. before they begin competition against Southeastern Conference opponents. Going into the SEC schedule, Blitz recognizes there is still room for improvement, but he is satisfied with the progress they are making.

“We certainly aren’t the finished product,” Blitz said. “And we don’t want to be at this point. It’s too early. Every practice, we’re getting better. But, we have a lot of work to do on all fronts, defensively and on the attack.”

Edited by Peter Baugh | pbaugh@themaneater.com

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