COLUMBIA — Missouri’s Sunday afternoon match against LSU started off with a clang.
The first 20 minutes featured three Missouri shots that bounced off goalposts, and the early missed opportunities came back to haunt Missouri, as LSU won 3-1.
Missouri Tigers (13-5, 8-4 SEC) at Texas A&M Aggies (14-3-1, 8-2-1 SEC)
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where: College Station, Texas
Sophomore midfielder Kaysie Clark put the ball in the net in the 24th minute to give Missouri (13-5, 8-4 in the SEC) the early lead, but the offense was stymied for the rest of the game.
LSU’s offense, on the other hand, was efficient, scoring on three of their seven shots on goal. Their first score was the most impressive, coming just 25 seconds after Clark’s goal.
Freshman midfielder Victoria Sample looped in a long shot that went just over sophomore goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein’s fingertips. The ball landed in the side-netting, and LSU was off and running.
LSU freshman forward Colby Maffei scored with a header to give LSU (8-7-4, 4-6-1) a 2-1 lead in the 38th minute, and junior midfielder Danielle Murphy scored on a double assist from junior forward Nina Anderson and freshman midfielder Jade Kovacevic.
The loss was Missouri’s second straight, after a Friday night collapse at home against Arkansas. It was also the first time Missouri gave up three goals in a game this season.
“We’ve lost a little of our swagger,” coach Bryan Blitz said.
The loss was especially tough for the seniors, who were recognized after the game for senior day and wore pink jerseys to support breast cancer awareness. What was supposed to be a special day ended with tears for multiple Missouri players.
“I’m going to keep it together now,” senior midfielder Jessica Greer said. “But later on tonight I’m going to look back and (realize), ‘oh my gosh, I may have just played my last game at Mizzou.’”
Missouri could play another home game if they impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee enough to not only make the tournament, but also earn a home game. They have a big test Thursday night at Texas A&M (14-3-1, 8-2-1).
“Right now we’re in a little bit of a lull.” Blitz said. “It certainly doesn’t get any easier from here.”