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Bonnick's heroics lead MU soccer to victory

Sunday, October 3, 2010 | 5:46 p.m. CDT; updated 7:19 p.m. CDT, Sunday, October 3, 2010
Missouri senior Alysha Bonnick fends of Oklahoma defender Carrie Whigham. Bonnick scored both of the goals that rallied the Tigers on Sunday.

COLUMBIA — After being shut out for the first 85 minutes of play, Missouri senior forward Alysha Bonnick put her experience to use.

Bonnick scored two goals in the final five minutes to give Missouri a 2-1 comeback victory against the Sooners on Sunday at Walton Stadium.

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Bonnick’s tied the game in the 85th minute off a pass from freshman Alex Charlebois. Bonnick took the ball, raced toward the left side of the net and stuck it above sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire.

Step 1 was complete, but Bonnick wasn’t finished.

“In my head I wanted to get the game over and done with, but realistically it was like, ‘You need to stay composed, get that goal and worry about what’s happening at the time,’ ” Bonnick said. “I would have been ready for overtime if we had to do it, but it’s better to get it over with.”

Bonnick got her chance to give Missouri the lead when freshman Danielle Nottingham teed up a corner kick a little more than a minute after the game-tying score.

Nottingham lofted a pass to the middle of the box, and amid a throng of Missouri and Oklahoma players, Bonnick jumped and knocked the ball in.

“I didn’t even see it until it went into the goal, that she had the header,” Nottingham said. “It was an awesome header.”

Whether it hit Bonnick’s head or not was up to speculation.

“It hit something on my body,” Bonnick said.

After the game Bonnick’s teammates rushed to congratulate Bonnick, one of Missouri’s three captains.

Coach Bryan Blitz was glad to see Bonnick’s performance.

“We have to have her to do well,” Blitz said. “She has to perform well; she’s the leader up front.”

Bonnick’s heroics saved Missouri (4-5-2, 2-1 in Big 12 Conference) from what could have been a frustrating loss.

The Tigers started the first half attacking the Oklahoma net, at one point outshooting the Sooners 10-1. 

“It was unfortunate in the first half that we had so many shots and didn’t get a goal, but we knew we’d come back and end up winning,” Nottingham said.

After being on their heels defensively for most of the half, the Sooners took the lead near the end of the half.

In the 44th minute, freshman Annalisa Hall dribbled down to the left side of the Tiger net, shot a pass to junior forward Kelsey Kraft across the goal. Kraft stuck it past sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Gwin.

“At halftime we said that was some of the best soccer we’ve played and we’re losing,” Blitz said. “So we asked them to be patient and composed and not hit the panic button in the second half.”


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