By: Anthony Del Fiacco, KCOU Sports
The Missouri women’s soccer team ended its nonconference schedule on a high note, beating Cal St. Northridge (CSUN) 3-1 at Walton Stadium Sunday afternoon. It was the Tigers’ fourth win in six matches, and increased their current unbeaten streak to six.
The Matadors drew first blood in the 17th minute on junior forward Lyndsey Preston’s shot that beat Mizzou goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein far post, but they rarely threatened the Tigers for the duration of the match. The Tigers outshot CSUN 19-5 and were awarded 12 corner kicks to the Matadors’ two.
Senior midfielder Kaysie Clark opened up the scoring for Mizzou in the 24th minute, her equalizer coming after a flurry of fancy passing in the Northridge box. Freshman forward Savannah Trujillo and senior forward Taylor Grant assisted in the effort.
“I was really excited,” said Clark after the match. “I’ve been shooting a lot so I’m just pumped to finally get my first goal.”
After the Tigers threatened the Matadors’ goal for a majority of the match with several quality chances, the deciding score finally came in the 55th minute off a mistake. Junior midfielder Reagan Russell’s cross was deflected off a CSUN player past Matador goalkeeper Cynthia Tafoya for the go-ahead score. In the 82nd minute, lightning struck twice and another Russell pass was deflected by Northridge into their own goal to add onto the winning margin.
“I’m not sure if it came off a deflection, actually,” said Russell of the final tally. “It was about a 38-yard run, (I) got to the edge of the box, and I saw Taylor Grant running back post. So I just played the ball to her and unfortunately—or fortunately—the Northridge girl got a foot on it and it went into the goal.”
As the Tigers prepare for the beginning of conference play, Friday evening at home vs. LSU, Russell acknowledged the heightened difficulty of playing Southeastern Conference competition.
“Going through practice this week is going to be different; there will be higher tensions and everyone will be more focused,” said Russell. “We’ve been waiting for the SEC the entire summer, so I think we’re just ready to get to it.”
“I think we’ve played a lot of different types of teams in nonconference play,” added Clark, when describing the mindset of the team going into Friday’s match. “So I think that’ll help us (with) whatever they bring.”
“Playing the conference is obviously really exciting, so I think we’ll just be pumped anyway.”