Despite playing in 90-degree weather and without two starters, the Missouri women’s soccer team (2-1) defeated Southeastern Missouri (0-3) 4-0 on Friday night, earning its first shutout of the season.
“I think we had to earn this one tonight,” coach Bryan Blitz said. “I think SEMO is always going to come in here and put up a fight. And that’s what they did for us. They made it difficult.”
The Tigers got off to a slow start for the first fifteen minutes of the game, but senior midfielder Dominique Richardson put the Tigers on the board in the 20th minute with a 25-yard strike from outside the box. It was Richardson’s first goal of the season.
“I think the first goal was big because after that everyone seemed to step up a bit because we needed a little more out of each other,” she said.
The Tigers added a goal from midfielder Lauren Selaiden in the 41st minute to head into halftime up 2-0. The freshman scored her first goal as a Tiger off of a free kick from senior Sarah Thune.
“It felt great honestly,” said Selaiden. “All I’m looking to do is contribute to this team and try to help us win so this is just a kick start to my season and get’s me going.”
The Tigers almost scored in the final seconds of the first half as Loudell Crumpler had a great opportunity off of a breakaway, but hit the crossbar in her attempt to triple MU’s lead.
Junior Kaysie Clark gave the Tigers their third goal of the game with a header past Redhawks goalie Ashton Aubuchon in the 54th minute. Clark’s goal came off a beautiful cross from freshman Erin Webb.
The Tigers would cap off their scoring for the night when Selaiden scored the second goal of her career in the 65th minute.
“Every goal is going to be big for me in some way,” Selaiden said, “whether it’s boosting my confidence or just serving as a way for me to contribute.”
Selaiden saw significant playing time off of the bench Friday as Blitz needed some offense to replace the void left by starters Lauren Flynn and Danielle Nottingham.
Both are battling day-to-day injuries and may be able to play in the Tigers next game.
Missouri’s defense held SEMO shotless through the game’s first 63 minutes en route to their dominant shutout.
“I think we’re starting to organize better as a defense,” Clark said.. “I think defense is all about organization and we’ve done a better job of that lately.”
The Tigers travel west on Interstate 70 this Sunday to play UMKC.
Missouri will be on the road for most of September which Clark thinks will be one of the teams first big tests of the season.
“I think this will be good to see what kind of team we are,” she said. “Traveling can be hard but I think we’re pretty experienced with the seniors we have and I think they’re going to make sure we stay on track.”