ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The No. 10 seed Mizzou soccer team claimed a decisive 3-1 win over Alabama in the first round of the 2017 Southeastern Conference Tournament Sunday afternoon at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala. The Tigers advanced to face No. 2 seed Texas A&M on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at Noon CT.
The Tigers improved to 8-11-1 overall on the season with the win, while the Crimson Tide fell to 12-7-1.
Mizzou struck immediately with a goal only 45 seconds into the match. Sophomore Sarah Luebbert's (Jefferson City, Mo.) initial shot bounced off the crossbar but the rebound fell to senior Savannah Trujillo (Kansas City, Mo.), who calmly placed a shot into the right side of the net. The goal was the third of the year for Trujillo, while Luebbert tallied her team-leading seventh assist of the year on the play.
Luebbert doubled Missouri's advantage with a goal of her own in the 27th minute off a defensive miscue from Alabama. Senior Jessica Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.) pulled the Crimson Tide keeper off her line and forced the defense to loose possession near the endline. The ball fell to Luebbert, who hit the open net for a 2-0 Tiger advantage. The goal was Luebbert's team-high seventh of the year. Sophomore Grace Kitts (Leawood, Kan.) added an insurance goal for the Tigers in the 57th minute. Senior Kaitlyn Clark (Liberty, Mo.) got to the left endline and send a ball across the goal. Kitts ran on to the cross and one-timed a shot to the right-side netting for her second tally of the season. Kitts also scored a goal in Mizzou's contest with Alabama one week prior.
The Crimson Tide avoided the shutout with a goal in the 73rd minute of action. Junior keeper Kelsey Dossey (Plainfield, Ind.) punched out an initial Alabama shot but Celia Jimenez Delgado took the rebound and beat the Mizzou defense to the right post.
Mizzou Head Coach Bryan Blitz "We were excited about playing a really good Alabama team one week later. Our team are competitors and they showed it today. We're certainly playing our best soccer here at the end of the year right now."
Sophomore Forward Sarah Luebbert "We really came out and executed the game plan the coaches set up for us. We all worked hard for each other, we had each other's backs."
- Sophomore Sarah Luebbert is the first Tiger with back-to-back 20-point seasons since Alysha Bonnick in 2009 and 2010
- Luebbert tallied a goal and an assist to up her 2017 point total to 21, on seven goals and seven assists
- Senior Savannah Trujillo scored her third goal of the season and her second in as many games
- Junior keeper Kelsey Dossey made four saves in net
- Sophomore Grace Kitts' second-half goal was her second of the season and second against Alabama
The Tigers face No. 2 seed Texas A&M in the quarterfinal of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at Noon CT. The match will be televised live on SEC Network.