Mizzou soccer strikes again in overtime to beat Colorado

Overtime is the new norm as freshman Sarah Luebbert sends Colorado home with a loss.
Missouri Tigers midfield Melaine Donaldson (10) winds up to kick the ball Sept. 20, 2015, at Audrey J. Walton Stadium. Maneater File Photo

Ninety minutes haven’t been enough so far in this Missouri soccer season. On Sunday night, the Tigers played their third straight overtime game and once again would not be denied victory as freshman Sarah Luebbert knocked in the winning goal in the 94th minute to earn a hard fought 2-1 win over Colorado.

“Over the summer, our strength coach really prepared us for overtime and [to push] through tiredness,” senior Erin Webb said. “It is tough playing in overtime, but we are relentless.”

The Tigers pounced on Colorado quickly. Junior Kaitlyn Clark jumped the midfield passing lane and was able to to out run the entire Buffalo backside defense. She left Colorado goalie Jalen Tompkins helpless, blasting in the game’s first goal in the third minute.

“Their left back played a square ball and I read it perfectly,” Clark said. “I just said, ‘Whatever, I’m just going to take it up and go myself.’ My team helped a lot with pressure.”

This is something that coach Bryan Blitz would like to see more of.

“She is such a server; meaning she works for the team,” Blitz said. “But that also entails taking risks, being courageous to go score yourself.”

Colorado responded in the 23rd minute, when sophomore Sarah Kinzner floated a top shelf goal from just outside the box. However, that short lapse on defense did not affect the team for the rest of the game.

“That’s the growth that we have to be able to do, until our young forwards put the ball in,” Blitz said. “You gotta keep it tight. That is what we were able to do last year and I think that is what we are striving to do this year.”

Heading into overtime, the Tigers were no stranger to the pressure. On the flipside, this was Colorado’s first overtime game of the season.

“We know what it feels like, and we know that we can win out of an overtime,” Clark said. “We have the mentality and work ethic to push through.”

That experience helped Mizzou quickly become the aggressor in overtime, setting up a corner kick by Webb in the 95th minute. After being redirected by Jessica Johnson, Luebbert headed in the clinching goal. She now leads the team in goals scored this season with three.

“It’s a great feeling,” Luebbert said. “It’s a lot of pressure, because I feel like I need to keep performing and executing my chances. “But it’s an ideal start for me this season.”

Mizzou moves to 3-1 this year, while Colorado falls to 2-2. Mizzou looks to keep the winning streak going at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2, as the Tigers play their final game of a five-game home stand against San Francisco.

Edited by Alec Lewis | alewis@themaneater.com

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