Soccer Heads To Elite National Tournament

MUTIGERS.COM Jessie Crabtree and the Tigers head to North Carolina this weekend.
Jessie Crabtree and the Tigers head to North Carolina this weekend.

Aug. 25, 2010

Carolina Nike Classic

Game 2: Missouri (0-1-0) vs. #25 Duke (1-0-0)

Friday, August 27; 4:00 p.m. ET
Fetzer Field; Chapel Hill, NC.

Game 3: Missouri (0-1-0) vs. #1 North Carolina (2-0-0)

Sunday, August 29; 1:00 p.m.
Fetzer Field; Chapel Hill, NC. ET
Live Stats: GameTracker on

COLUMBIA, MO. - Mizzou soccer takes to the road this weekend to meet up with two ranked opponents. The Tigers will spend the weekend in Chapel Hill, NC. for the Carolina Nike Classic where they will take on No. 25 Duke and back-to-back defending national champions and No. 1-ranked North Carolina. The Tigers take on the Blue Devils Friday at 4 p.m. at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, NC.

After Missouri's home opener against Belmont was washed out last Friday, MU headed to College Park, Md. to take on the Maryland Terrapins. After scoring early on in the game, the Tigers fell to the Terps 3-2. Freshman Dominique Richardson scored the first goal of the game, and the first of her career as a Tiger, with a long-range shot from outside the box assisted by freshman Danielle Nottingham. Senior Alysha Bonnick came through for the Tigers in the second half with an unassisted goal bringing the score to 3-2. The Terps defense held tight locking in the 3-2 score.

Missouri and Duke have not faced off since 2001 at the Duke Invitational Tournament when Missouri endured a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Blue Devils. After falling to Rutgers in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, Duke opened its 2010 season with a 1-0 victory over Georgia. Duke senior Molly Lester placed the 15-yard shot, earning her first career goa l. Although the bulldogs out shot Duke 21-14, the Blue Devil defense was able to hold off its opponent. The match marks Duke's fourth straight win over Georgia.



Head coach Bryan Blitz is starting off this season in record-breaking position, nearing his 200th career win. Blitz ended last season with an overall record of 199-169-23 after winning his 150th match with the Tigers. Before coming to Missouri, Blitz held the head coaching position at Butler University for five years, where he amassed a 45-44-8 record.

Freshman Dominique Richardson stepped up to the plate for the Tigers against Maryland, scoring the first goal of the game. The long-range shot marks her first goal at MU. "I looked up and saw it was going in and I kind of got the chills," said Richardson. "It's my first college goal so that's pretty special for me."

The defending Big 12 regular season champions received 69 points and one first place vote in the the Big 12 preseason poll released on Aug. 11. The Tigers came in at No. 3, above last year's Big 12 tournament winner, Oklahoma State. Texas A&M secured the top spot in the poll, voted on by the league's coaches. Missouri senior Alysha Bonnick was chosen for the Preseason All-Big 12 team. Bonnick finished last season with 11 goals and four assists, and she has 12 career game-winning goals to date, tying her for the school record with alum Nikki Thole.

After graduating seven seniors, Mizzou added another seven to its roster. The Tigers welcomed six freshmen and one senior transfer from Clemson. Freshman forward Danielle Nottingham is already showing her stripes, netting the only two goals in the Tigers' preseason match against the University of Illinois. Freshmen Dominique Richardson and Alyssa Diggs joined Nottingham as starters for the Tigers on the day. Senior Paula Pritzen is working hard for a goalkeeping position as she comes in under sophomore Jessica Gwin who has a year of experience with the Tigers under her belt. Pritzen was ranked first in the ACC in saves per game average during her sophomore and junior seasons at Clemson.

The Back-to-Back Big 12 Champions are starting off a new season with a new team. Mizzou lost six starters from last season including Kristin Andrighetto, Michelle Collins and goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore. Andrighetto leaves Missouri holding the school records for career shots (379) and shots on goal (165). She graduated as the team leader in points, goals, shots and shots on goal for the 2009 season. She also holds the Big 12 record for shots in the 2009 season with 113. Michelle Collins led the team in assists last season, racking up 22 assists in her career. Goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore holds the records for career shutouts (17), victories (35), games started in goal (55) and minutes in goal (4945:05).

The Tigers graduated a total of seven seniors from the University of Missouri last year, including midfielders Bree Thornton, Meghan Pfeiffer and Michelle Makasini and defender Crystal Wagner.

Senior captains Alysha Bonnick, Kari Adam and Krista Kruse are looking to lead the Missouri soccer team to tournament turf this season. Alysha Bonnick is coming into the 2010 season with Big 12 preseason honors. She followed close behind Kristin Andrighetto as one of the team's top scorers last season. With 12 career game-winning goals, Bonnick holds the program's record with Tiger alum Nikki Thole. Kruse leads by example on the field where she holds a midfield spot. She scored three game-winning goals last season. Kari Adam finished 2009 with two goals on 11 shots on goal and three assists. She has played 67 games so far in her career, allowing her to set an example for the younger players on the team.

The Tigers clinched the Big 12 regular season title last year after a 5-0 win over Nebraska. The title is the first regular season title won by a Missouri program since the softball team won it in 1997. Missouri's regular season title continued the success of the 2008 season when soccer came home from San Antonio, Texas with the Big 12 Tournament trophy. The team looks to continue its success this year as they defend their regular season title.

Mizzou Soccer is scheduled to appear on ESPNU when the Tigers host Texas A&M at Walton Stadium in Columbia. Game time is set for 4 p.m. on October 17. The game will also mark "Adopt-a-Player Night" for the Tigers. Fans are encouraged to bring signs, posters and any other items in support of their favorite players. The soccer team will be available for autographs at the end of the game.

A few Missouri soccer players earned the opportunity to play at a national level. Redshirt Freshman Edith Lopez spent her summer at Mexico U-20 team camp. Edith appeared versatile during the spring season for the Tigers showing her stripes in both the striker and midfield positions. She has four years of eligibility left after redshirting her freshman year. Senior Alysha Bonnick also represented her country as one of 28 players selected by Canada Soccer to participate in the Senior National Team training camp. She also participated in the Canadian U-20 National Team camp in Vancouver as a freshman. Senior Krista Kruse and Freshman Dominique Richardson both represented the United States, Kruse with the US U-23 National Team training camp and Richardson with the U-18 training camp. Richardson attended the camp for the second time in her high school career.

In addition to the official news, videos, statistics, and more available on, updates on the Missouri women's soccer team can be found on several social media sites. Search Mizzou Soccer on, check out videos at and at user4444281, and get frequent updates at

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