Missouri soccer team hungry for more

Thursday, August 27, 2009 | 5:55 p.m. CDT; updated 11:07 a.m. CST, Thursday, November 19, 2009

COLUMBIA — After pulling out a 3-2 win against Iowa in its first game of the season, the Mizzou women’s soccer team was quickly reminded that winning takes a lot of work, according to coach Bryan Blitz.

After last season, when the team won its first Big 12 Conference tournament championship and reached the NCAA tournament for the second-straight year, players' minds may have still been in the past, according to Blitz.

“Before the Iowa game, I think we forgot that winning is hard,” Blitz said.

To help the team move on from last season and focus on this season, Blitz created the motto, “New year, new team, new goal.”

While winning a national championship is the ultimate goal, winning the team's first regular season Big 12 championship is a major focus as well, according to senior forward Kristin Andrighetto.

“We are really excited for this season, because we aren’t the underdogs anymore,” Andrighetto said. “We look forward to the challenge of winning the Big 12 with a bull's-eye on our backs."

Blitz emphasized two main things about the team that he thinks will help the Tigers achieve their goals: The team’s  work ethic and depth.

“This team has a blue collar work ethic,” Blitz said. “We do the dirty work that other teams aren’t willing to do. We are always competing in every drill, playing our very hardest, and pushing each other all the time.”

Junior forward Alysha Bonnick also pointed out the team’s depth.

“Every player on the team is really good.” Bonnick said. “Everyone is fighting for their positions at all times, because we are all very skilled and very talented. Nobody can let up or back down, because you never know when you could lose your starting spot

The depth will also help the Tigers to “Finish,” another team motto, according to Bonnick.

“We lost a game in overtime last year, so we are making it a point to really finish out games this year,” Bonnick said. “We have to keep going and never back down.”

Missouri faces Northwestern Wildcats in its home opener at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Walton Stadium.




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