Tigers strive to stay alive

Thursday, November 6, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:47 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008


The season continues, and Missouri hopes to keep it that way.

The No. 8 seeded Missouri women’s soccer team plays No. 1 Colorado today at 11 a.m. in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament at the Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio.

The Tigers (9-9-1, 3-6-1 Big 12) took the last seed in the tournament by coming from behind to defeat Iowa State on Friday in Ames, Iowa. After trailing 2-0 and 3-2, Missouri battled back to defeat the Cyclones 4-3 and knock them out of tournament contention.

Missouri has appeared in seven of the eight Big 12 tournaments, failing to make the six-team cut in 1997. The Tigers lowest seed was eighth.

Coach Bryan Blitz, though, said he isn’t afraid of the underdog role.

“It’s an unusual spot for us,” Blitz said. “But we feel like we can play with anyone in the conference.”

A few weeks ago, Missouri had little chance to make the tournament. After starting 4-0, the Tigers faced eight ranked opponents, seven in eight consecutive games. On Oct. 17, Missouri was 6-8-1 and had not won a conference game.

The turning point for the Tigers was Oct. 19 against Texas A&M, ranked No. 4 in the country. Missouri, which trailed 4-1 at halftime, beat the Aggies 5-4 in overtime behind Melissa Peabody’s hat trick.

Since that game, the Tigers have won two of three games.

Senior Adriene Davis has high hopes for her last conference tournament.

“We want to go win this thing,” Davis said. “We want to be the eighth seed that comes through and wins it all.”

The Tigers will have a formidable opponent. In addition to being atop the Big 12 standings, the Buffaloes (15-2-1, 8-1-1) also are ranked fifth nationally and boast three Big 12 awards winners that were announced Tuesday.

Katie Griffin was named Rookie of the Year, Fran Munnelly was awarded Player of the Year and coach Bill Hempen was honored as Coach of the Year.  Missouri and Colorado met Sept. 26, when the Buffaloes came back to win 3-2 after the Tigers took a 2-0 lead.

“I thought we played great that game,” Blitz said. “We can gain confidence from it and bring it into (today’s) game.”

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