By: Ben Burke
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Seniors Reagan Russell and Candace Johnson each found the back of the net for the Missouri soccer team as the Tigers defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 3-1 on Senior Day.
Russell kicked off the scoring for Missouri early with her second goal of the season in the sixth minute. The Texas native also had seven shots on the game.
Johnson scored on a penalty kick in 76th minute to secure the victory for the Tigers. The penalty try was about as good an attempt as you’ll see, as the Dallas native nailed the bottom left corner of the net, outside the outstretched arms of Tennessee goalie Julie Eckel.
The win was huge for head coach Bryan Blitz, who places an emphasis on senior day every year. “It’s a very emotional day for me,” Blitz said after the game.
It wasn’t all about the seniors for Missouri Sunday, as forwards Jessica Herrman and Allie Hess flexed their sophomore power in picking up Missouri’s second goal of the day.
In the 40th minute, Hess found Hermann with a chest pass in front of the net, and Hermann put away her third goal of the season to give Missouri a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Just when it seemed like the Tigers would carry their first half momentum all the way to victory, Tennessee struck right at the beginning of the second to bring the Vols within one. Missouri goalkeeper Kristen Rivers misplayed a chip pass from Tennessee’s Anna McClung, and Amy Neal was able to capitalize for her fifth tally of the year.
With the win, Missouri improves to 7-4-4 on the season, and 5-2-1 in SEC play. The Tigers will now head to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to take on Alabama Friday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 p.m.