COLUMBIA — Missouri women’s soccer coach Bryan Blitz doesn’t redshirt his freshmen, so his newly signed recruits can expect to play a role on the team this fall.
The team signed six recruits Wednesday on the NCAA’s National Signing Day that Blitz expects will have a significant impact on the team.
Missouri products Mallory Stipetich of Liberty and Columbia standout Liz Gayer from Hickman both signed letters of intent. Jessica Crabtree, Candace Ruff and Kendra Collins from Illinois and Kelsey Blincow of Lewisville, Texas also joined the Tigers. Collins is the younger sister of Missouri junior forward Michelle Collins.
Blitz appeared excited about all the talent he has added to a team that finished fourth in the Big 12 Conference and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament last season without a single senior on the roster.
He said that not losing any players next year afforded him a lot of flexibility in what players to go after because no position was lacking in quantity. He chose to go with players who had raw talent and were capable of playing in more than one spot on the field.
“We look for things you can’t teach,” Blitz said. “We can always make kids better soccer players.”
Blitz described Gayer as one of those players.
“She’s gifted genetically and she has a huge amount of courage,” he said.
Blitz said he expects the makeup of the team to change despite having the same players returning. Because of the quality of the incoming freshmen, players will have to work even harder for playing time.
“It’s going to be hard for anybody to play with all that talent coming back and new talent coming in,” Blitz said. “So that’s what makes it exciting because at least it’s going to be super competitive.”