Mizzou soccer rolls past the Crimson Tide

Sarah Luebbert continues her strong freshman campaign, scoring in Missouri’s shutout of Alabama.

Missouri (9-4-1, 4-2-1) shut out Alabama (7-6-1, 2-4-1) in a 2-0 win Sunday. The game was Mizzou soccer’s annual Pink Out game to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research and survivors of the disease.

“Anybody who has been touched by cancer, they’re warriors,” coach Bryan Blitz said. “They have been through it, their families have been through it. So we made a promise to ourselves that we were going to honor them with our effort.”

On the field, Mizzou’s effort was prevalent from kickoff. Early in the first half, Alabama’s offense did little to challenge goalkeeper Kelsey Dossey and the rest of Mizzou’s defense. However, the Crimson Tide did a great job defensively by staying competitive and preventing Mizzou from accumulating its usual amount of shots.

The Tigers’ offense, however, couldn’t be caged for long. It’s been the story of Mizzou’s season: Dominate on shots, and eventually something will go in.

Mizzou out-shot Alabama 11 to four in the first half, finally capitalized in the 27th minute. A strike from Sarah Luebbert (assisted by Jessica Johnson) put the Tigers up 1-0. It was Luebbert’s seventh goal on the year.

“[Johnson] basically made that goal,” Luebbert said. “We work really well together. Whenever we played Ole Miss, that is when we first really started clicking, figuring each other out. I think you can see that on the field. We are working really well of the ball.”

The biggest play for Mizzou came in the 34th minute, when the team prevented a goal after a major defensive breakdown. It was Alabama’s best chance of scoring in the first half, but too much passing inside the box gave Dossey the time to recover. Dossey had four saves in the game.

To start the second half, both teams opened up offensively. Alabama started creating scoring chances and pushing the ball. However, the Tigers avoided second-half mistakes and did not let Alabama score.

In the second half, Bethany Coons made a beautiful move inside the box and passed it to Johnson for the easy chip-in insurance goal. It was Johnson’s second goal this year.

“It was a relief,” Johnson said. “I’ve been unlucky a lot of the times, but I knew that if I kept doing the work it will come. “

Close games are nothing new for Mizzou, but insurance goals definitely ease nerves.

“I think our team raised their level in the second half against a very dangerous, well-coached Alabama team,” Blitz said. “Certainly it gives everyone a sigh of relief, and that’s [helped] in that timing of the game.”

Mizzou’s next game is at home Oct. 14 against Vanderbilt.

Edited by Peter Baugh | pbaugh@themaneater.com

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