COLUMBIA — The Missouri women's soccer team will be fueled by added energy and emotion on Friday when they take on the LSU Tigers.
In the final home game of the 2012 regular season, No. 16-ranked Missouri lost to an unranked LSU team on Senior Day. That unexpected loss left a sour taste in the mouths of Missouri players who are committed to reversing that outcome this time around.
"It was tough because we kind of let them come into our house and take control," senior forward Brooke Williams said. "We should never allow that to happen, especially on our home turf."
Danielle Nottingham agreed, saying that last season's loss has given the team a reason to work harder on Friday. "We came into it that we thought we were going to win and it was just, I mean we got it handed to us a little bit," she said. "But I think it's good because it gives us more motivation this year to come back out."
Missouri coach Bryan Blitz, however, sees the match as just another opportunity for his team to prove itself against a solid SEC opponent.
"Every game — it doesn't matter what the name is at this point — we just have to get it done and play better," Blitz said. "I think our team knows that, I think they've had good days of practice and they're looking to rebound from the performance on Sunday (a loss against Texas A&M)," he added.
LSU currently sits atop the SEC with a 4-0-1 conference record. Two of Missouri's next opponents, Kentucky and South Carolina, sit just behind LSU with identical conference records of 4-1. Missouri currently has an overall record of 6-6-1 and is 2-2-1 in conference play. Despite the difficult upcoming matches, Blitz looks forward to the challenges.
"I think we're prepared and that's the best place we could be," Blitz said. "I think everybody is good in the conference and whoever brings their A game the whole entire time and focuses the whole entire time is the team that will usually win."
This Friday night, Missouri will be especially focused.
"We've been focusing on having that will to fight and push through everything because right now we've got all the talent in the world," Williams said. "It's just finding that end result to bring home the win."
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in Baton Rouge, La.