Missouri women's soccer team staying positive despite Big 12 losses

Sunday, September 25, 2011 | 7:31 p.m. CDT

Two losses in the first two conference games would be  discouraging for any team.

Not for the Missouri women's soccer team.

The Tigers fell 2-0 to the No. 2 Oklahoma State on Sunday in Stillwater, Okla. The team also lost 1-0 in its Big 12 Conference opener Friday at Texas Tech.

Even though Sunday's game was Missouri's second conference loss in a row, the Tigers are keeping a positive attitude. To start with, there were positive aspects in both matches. In spite of conceding three goals, Missouri's defense proved solid overall. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein stood out with 13 saves over the wekend.

Missouri coach Bryan Blitz said he saw his players improve from Friday's game, especially their mindset.

"I think that in Friday's game we weren't as focused as we needed to be. The players were a little bit nervous," Blitz said by phone. "But today we bounced back. We really went after Oklahoma State (13-0) and we never quit. We had a couple of good chances. It was a hard-fought game and I'm proud of these girls."

The aspect the Tigers (8-4) need to work on if they want to get their Big 12 campaign back on track is clear: They didn't score a single goal in their first two conference games.

Blitz said the offense will be a major focus during next week's training sessions.

"We will definitely work on scoring," Blitz said. "We need to be a bit more aggressive on the attack. We need to create more chances up front and take them."

With their next two matches at home, the Tigers have something else to be positive about.

"Obviously we want to win every game," Blitz said. "We want to get better, and I think we got better after these two games. But they are in the past now. Next week we'll be back to work, and being at home will help us regroup and refocus."

The Tigers are scheduled to host Texas A&M at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Walton Stadium.

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