Missouri soccer stays perfect after an intense battle against the Xavier Musketeers at Walton Stadium. The Tigers got out to an early start, with Sarah Luebbert scoring in the first minute off of a nice ball from Madison Lewis to open up the offense. The first half stayed quiet and ended 1-0, but the second half proved to be very different. Five minutes in, defender Peyton Joseph extended Missouri’s lead to two as she headed in her first career goal off a set piece.
Coach Bryan Blitz of Missouri explained that the Tiger’s work was paying off: “We’ve been working on set pieces and we know that those can make the biggest difference. We’ve worked hard for 60 days now and that’s our first one. For [Peyton] it’s great, for the team it’s great, and they continue to persevere.”
The game did not stay 2-0 for long. The Musketeers struck back, coming within one goal and then scoring the equalizer in the 89th minute of the match. The game continued into extra time, and after a scoreless first period the teams restarted for a second period to decide a winner in this tight match. Ultimately, it was Sarah Luebbert who sealed it for the Tigers, putting a penalty kick off of the left post and in to win the game in sudden victory and push their record to 4-0 on the season.
Lubbert was ready to end the 105 minute match. She said, “I knew [the penalty kick] was coming and I knew I was going to be the one to take it so I didn’t want to hesitate. I just went up to the ball and I reminded myself, ‘you’ve been practicing you know what to do just pass it to the corner,’ so I just did my thing. I thought I saw the goalie jump one way so I went the other, but she was a really good goalie and it was really close.”
Xavier put up a good comeback on the road, but suffered their first loss of the season, making them 2-1-1.
Coach Blitz was clear that the Tigers would not sit back on their 4-0 record. “The 4-0 start is nice but like I told them, we were out to a 10-0 start one time and went 10-10. It’s nice, we told them to enjoy it until tonight but after that we don’t care about our record,” Blitz said.
Sarah Lubbert echoed her coach: “It’s great, but we definitely don’t want that to get into our heads. You don’t want to start thinking 4-0, 5-0. We just have to take it one game at a time, it’s really all you can do.”
The Tigers continue their homestand against Murray State on Thursday, September 5th. The Musketeers stay on the road to play Kent State on Friday, September 6th.
written by Teddy Mairoca
edited by Chuck Bayoud