Led by sophomore striker Sarah Luebbert, Missouri soccer snapped its five-game losing streak in a 2-1 victory at Kentucky on Thursday night. It was a massive victory for the Tigers, who still need to win two of their last three conference games to qualify for the SEC Championship tournament.
Luebbert, who scored two goals in the Tigers’ overtime loss to Tennessee on Sunday, was the focal point for the Tigers in Lexington on Thursday. The sophomore gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute when she headed the ball into the back of the net off a cross from senior Jessica Johnson. The goal was Luebbert’s fifth of the season.
In the 52nd minute, Kentucky equalized when freshman Miranda Jimenez cut inside and shook off multiple Missouri defenders before putting a shot past Missouri keeper Kristen Rivers.
The game appeared destined to head to extra time before Johnson and Luebbert delivered again for the Tigers in the 82nd minute . After a foul by Kentucky, Missouri took the free kick quickly, and Luebbert made a run down the endline before finding Johnson on a cross into the box. Johnson scored from close range to give the Tigers a 2-1 victory.
"I'm happy that we finally got a result,” Missouri head coach Bryan Blitz said in a press release. “We've been playing really well the last two games and I think our team realized that winning is hard. This was a good Kentucky team. I was happy for our team because they continued to fight for each other."
Kristen Rivers played all 90 minutes in goal for Mizzou on Thursday, marking the second straight game in which she has played the full game. Blitz had been using a two-keeper rotation all season, but seems to have decided on Rivers as the team’s starter.
The Tigers return home Oct.19 at 6:30 p.m.for a tough test against No. 3 South Carolina.
Edited by Eli Lederman | firstname.lastname@example.org