Nov. 9, 2008
Box Score |
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The No. 15 Missouri soccer team (15-5-1. 7-3-0) claimed the Big 12 Tournament Championship on Sunday with a 1-0 win over No. 10 Colorado (14-4-4, 6-2-2) at Blossom Soccer Complex. Senior captain Mo Redmond scored in the sixth minute and a determined Missouri defense shutout the Buffaloes tenacious attack to earn the program's first ever conference crown.
"This is a tremendous day for Missouri soccer. For the fans, the alumni, the players, the school, everyone can be proud of this accomplishment," Head Coach Bryan Blitz said. "Give Colorado credit, they took us all the way to the brink and made us earn it."
Redmond scored the lone goal off a blocked shot by junior forward Kristin Andrighetto in the game's opening minutes. The ball rolled to the top of the box, where Redmond was well-positioned to blast it past Colorado goalkeeper Kirstin Radlinski for her fourth goal of the season.
Junior goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore recorded two saves as the Missouri defense thwarted attack after attack by the Buffaloes. Dittamore extended her single season record in shutouts to nine, as did the team with their 11th clean sheet in 21 games this season.
"We'll celebrate until 7 p.m. tomorrow and then focus on the tournament so we can continue our journey," Blitz said. "We're excited to see if we host and look forward to finding out who we play."
In addition to earning the championship trophy, proudly hoisted by the entire team in the awards presentation following the match, several Tigers earned all-tournament selections. Sophomore Alysha Bonnick was named the tournament's offensive MVP while Dittamore earned defensive MVP honors. Additionally, Redmond, junior Meghan Pfeiffer and senior Kat Tarr were named to the 2008 Big 12 All-Tournament team.
"This was our goal from the very beginning," Bonnick said. "Ever since last spring, we worked really hard to have this opportunity. This whole season has been something special."
"This is a great feeling," Dittamore said. "This was a total team effort and to make it past so many good teams in the conference is truly a credit to what this team is capable of."
The title awards Missouri an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which begins play on Friday, Nov. 14. This season marks the fourth appearance for the Tigers and will be the first time to be selected in consecutive seasons. The 64-team field and host sites will be announced live on ESPN News between 7-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10.