The Maneater

TCU brings overtime again, then heartbreak again for scoring drought-ridden Missouri soccer

The Horned Frogs tallied the winning goal eight seconds apart from the one Northwestern scored on Thursday to also top Missouri 1-0.

TCU freshman defender Brandi Peterson and Mizzou junior forward Sarah Luebbert battle for possession during a match between the Tigers and Horned Frogs on September 2, 2018. TCU beat Missouri 1-0 in overtime.

In the fifth minute of overtime, it happened again.

Texas Christian freshman Maddy Warren ripped a shot from the top of the box that sailed just beyond the reach of Missouri senior goalkeeper Kelsey Dossey, and just like that, the Tigers were on the wrong end of yet another 1-0 contest at home. Even so early in the season, there was all too sinister a sense of familiarity to the gloomy ending.

The 1-0 loss at Walton Stadium on Sunday was the fourth to go beyond regulation in five games this season for Missouri (1-3-1), and the second in four days. Thursday’s home opener against Northwestern resulted in the same scoreline, the decisive goal coming just eight seconds earlier in the overtime period than TCU’s similar strike on Sunday.

As the saying goes, it was déjà vu all over(time) again.

“Winning is hard, and we’re learning that lesson now,” Missouri coach Bryan Blitz said. “But I think in the long run this will be the best thing for us as long as we keep fighting and staying positive, which isn’t really that hard to do.”

This was Missouri’s third straight defeat after starting the season with a draw and a win. It’s the fourth time in five games the Tigers have failed to find the back of the net. They haven’t scored a goal in 279 minutes of play — and the most recent tally was by virtue of an Iowa State own goal.

“The truth is [the players are] talented and they can score goals, and we’ve been a program that has done that,” Blitz said. “We’re just not in form right now.”

As has been the case in most of Missouri’s games this season, the first 90 minutes of this match were tightly contested. The Tigers’ first chance came in the 12th minute, when redshirt junior midfielder Madison Lewis launched a shot from outside the box that rose toward the top corner of the goal before being caught by TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.

In the 19th minute, the theme of long shots continued as freshman forward Skye Kingsley sent the ball just over the crossbar from even further out than Lewis’ attempt.

“I think we’ve just got to make better choices [on offense],” Blitz said. “I think we settled for a lot of long shots here against this team ... that’s my end of the game, and I’ve got to get the offense working.”

TCU (5-0-1) began to take control in the second half. The Horned Frogs narrowly missed the target in the 56th and 63rd minutes, and midfielder Kayla Hill had the best chance of regulation when she hit the post from close range in the 74th. Messiah Bright threaded a cross past Dossey and four defenders to give Hill the open look.

One bright spot in the game for Missouri was the return of sophomore midfielder Zoe Cross, but that, too, did not last. Cross, who had missed the first four games due to representing England at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in France, made her debut in the 19th minute and headed a TCU shot off of the goal line in the 59th, but had to be helped off the field in the 86th. She appeared to favor one leg after a tussle for the ball with two opposing players.

An update on the injury is expected in the coming days.

After losing Cross, Missouri suddenly took control in the final minutes of regulation, taking four shots and forcing one save in the final four minutes, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the oncoming overtime period.

“Defensively we’ve put a lot of work in, and we’ve focused on just dropping, covering for each other, and just putting in the work for each other,” junior defender Anna Frick said. “It’s been working for us, but we’ve just got to get through it, through overtime.”

The loss was Missouri’s second straight to TCU after also dropping an overtime decision last season to the Horned Frogs.

Missouri will return to action next week with what should be its toughest non conference game, a trip to Southern California on Friday. It will then make a quick turnaround, returning to Columbia to face Gonzaga on Sunday.

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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