By: Max Mitchem, KCOU Sports
The UT-Martin Skyhawks were undefeated coming into Sunday, but all it took was the great teamwork and ability of the Tigers to take them down.
Sunday at Walton Field, the University of Missouri women’s soccer team defeated the University of Tennessee-Martin in a 1-0 victory, putting this season’s record at 3-1-2.
McKenzie Sauerwein, the Tiger goalie and a redshirt senior, also had a strong performance on Sunday. During the game against UT-Martin, Sauerwein broke the career shutout record for having shutouts in school history. She also owns the school record in saves, games played in goal, games started in goal and minutes played in goal.
The first half was played very defensively. With only three shots attempted by Mizzou and six by UT-Martin, a majority of the first 45 minutes was a battle for possession.
Missouri made many substitutions throughout the game. By the end of the first half, almost all of the present Tiger players had gotten field time. With fresh sets of legs constantly on the field, Mizzou never seemed to miss a step. UT-Martin on the other hand had only substituted one player right at the end of the half. The Skyhawks appeared to play much more exhausted as a result.
After the first half, the Tigers were much more aggressive. With a total of 12 shots taken in the second half, the Missouri offense really kicked into gear, leaving the UT-Martin defense scattered. It was all the Skyhawks could do to attempt to break up a passing chain, usually resulting in a throw-in or a corner kick. It was on a corner kick by midfielder Kaysie Clark during the 55th minute that midfielder Reagan Russell scored the game-winning goal.
UT-Martin attempted only four shots in the last half of the game, half of which were made within the final 10 minutes in a Hail Mary attempt to drag the game into a tie. Even though both the Skyhawks offense and defense were lacking in the final half, nothing could be said for Mariah Klenke, UT Martins goalie, as she made seven saves in the second half.
Next weekend, the Tigers will play at home again to take on Montana on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Cal State Northridge on Sunday at 12:30 p.m..