Missouri women's soccer team bounces back with win over UMKC

Sunday, September 18, 2011 | 7:57 p.m. CDT; updated 8:17 p.m. CDT, Sunday, September 18, 2011

COLUMBIA — All the players know the team's motto well: Never lose two games.

The Missouri women's soccer team honored that with a 3-0 victory against University of Missouri-Kansas City on Sunday at Walton Stadium.

The win was a morale booster after the No. 24 Tigers' seven-game wining streak was broken in Friday's 2-0 loss to No. 9 Florida. Missouri improved to 8-2 this season. UMKC fell to 1-5-3.

Missouri dominated ball possession in Sunday's game, but the Tigers were not able to convert on at least three scoring opportunities in the first half. Defensively, Missouri played a flawless first half and prevented UMKC from taking a shot on goal.

The game remained scoreless at halftime despite 15 shots for the Tigers. Missouri kept its composure and continued to push forward at the start of the second half. 

Missouri took the lead in the 52nd minute, when senior midfielder Kelsey Blincow put a crossed shot into the back of the net. It was Blincow's second goal of the season.

"The first goal is always really nice when it's a tied game like that," Blincow said, an expression of relief on her face. "It relieves a little bit of the pressure and lets everyone calm down."

After Blincow's goal, Missouri maintained control. The Tigers scored their second goal in the 86th minute when sophomore forward Alyssa Diggs shot from close range and beat the Kangaroos' goalkeeper. The Missouri players gathered around Diggs and hugged each other enthusiastically.

Missouri scored its final goal in the 87th minute when sophomore midfielder Dominique Richardson converted a penalty kick. Diggs and Richardson lead the Tigers with four goals each so far this season.

Despite the early frustrations, the victory appears to have improved the Tigers' attitude moving ahead.

"Our confidence is really high," junior defender Jessica Greer said. "Even though we came off a hard game on Friday, we grew a lot. We never quit. The chemistry is there with all of us, as a team."

Missouri's tough nonconference schedule, which included games against two Top 10 teams, was designed to get the team ready for the start of Big 12 Conference play.

"Going on the road, playing in adverse conditions and seeing different styles and conferences gives us a little bit of versatility," Missouri coach Bryan Blitz said. "We wanted to test them out of conference, and we did that. We are prepared for conference."

The Tigers are scheduled to face Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Friday in Lubbock, Texas.

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