By: Matt Hosler
With four minutes left in overtime Senior Melanie Donaldson was fouled by an Illini defender inside the box, setting up the game winning penalty kick to end the back and fourth game. The game-ending PK marked the third goal of the game for the Tigers ending the match 3-2.
The Tigers came out strong to start off the game with Jessica Johnson tallying the first shot of the game in the ninth minute. Mizzou got off two more shots in the next two minutes, but was unable to score. The Tigers consistently got into the box in the early going, but could not capitalize on these opportunities.
After fifteen minutes of play, Illinois finally registered a shot which ended up in the back of the net for the Illini making the score 1-0. The Tigers almost tied back up the game after Freshman Sarah Leubbert beat the goalie and hit the ball off a defender, however another defender was able to stop the ball before it crossed the line.
After back and fourth play between the two offenses Illinois held the lead 1-0 40 minutes in. That was until redshirt sophomore Lauren Gaston tied the game up on the first corner kick of the game to tie it 1-1.
No one was able to score for the rest of the half and both teams headed into the locker room looking for ways to be able to run away with this game. Heading into half, Mizzou led the game with 13 shots and six shots on goal whereas Illinois trailed in both categories with only three shots total and only one on goal which was the only goal for their team in the half. Along with that, the Tigers led with six fouls to Illinois’ three all of which came in the last ten minutes.
Just like the start of the game, the Tigers started the second half solid, putting up a nice shot that barely went over the crossbar. Later in the game, the Tigers had two great opportunities to score after crowding up in front of the goal, but failed on both opportunities.
Then, with twelve minutes left in the game, Freshman Sarah Leubbert scored the goal to take the lead for the Tigers, her second of the season in three games.
“She really has a nose for the ball. It’s why we recruited her,” said Head Coach Bryan Blitz over Leubbert.
About five minutes later, Illinois scored the equalizer after a mishandle by sophomore goalie Kelsey Dossey. Four minutes past that they scored again off of another mishandle, but this time they were called off sides causing the goal to be negated leaving the game tied 2-2. On that same play both Dossey and senior Lauren Selaiden collided with Illinois players and ended up on the ground. Dossey got back up on her own power, but Selaiden had to be helped off the field with an injury.
No one was able to score for the rest of regulation sending the game into overtime, the second game in a row for the Tigers to head into overtime. At the end of regulation, the Tigers had 22 shots with ten on goal which was triple the amount of shots the Illini had during regulation. Both teams entered OT with ten fouls.
After another scramble in front of the Illinois goal, the Tigers had a great opportunity to score, but missed. However, Leubbert was fouled inside the box setting up a penalty kick by senior Melanie Donaldson to decide the match. After 96 minutes, the game ended in a 3-2 victory for Missouri giving them a 2-1 record so far in the season.
Missouri plays Colorado Sunday at Walton Stadium for their third home game of the season.