Missouri Continues its Road Trip

MUTIGERS.COM Danielle Nottingham and the Tigers head to Chicago after playing Duke and UNC last weekend.
Danielle Nottingham and the Tigers head to Chicago after playing Duke and UNC last weekend.

Missouri Week 3 Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Sept. 2, 2010

Game 4: Missouri (0-3-0) vs. DePaul (2-2-0)

Friday, September 3; 4:00 p.m.
Wish Field; Chicago, Ill.

Game 5: Missouri (0-3-0) vs. Northwestern (2-1-1)

Sunday, September 5; 1:00 p.m.
Lakeside Field; Evanston, Ill.

Live Stats: GameTracker on mutigers.com

COLUMBIA, MO. - The Tigers are on the road again this weekend, this time heading north for a weekend in Chicago. Missouri will face the DePaul Blue Demons on Friday, Sept. 3 at 4 p.m. The game will take place at DePaul's Wish Field in Chicago, Ill.

This will be the third consecutive weekend on the road for the Tigers. After returning from Maryland, Mizzou headed out to North Carolina for the Carolina Nike Classic. The elite tournament matched MU with nationally ranked teams Duke and North Carolina. In the first game of the tournament, Missouri took the lead ending the first half with a score of Missouri 1, Duke 0. The Blue Devils came back in the second half to finish the game with a 3-1 score in favor of #18 Duke. Mizzou fell to North Carolina 6-1 in the second game of the weekend, however the Tigers did not give up easily. Alysha Bonnick came out hard in the second half putting the team on the board in the first few minutes of play.

DePaul split its time last weekend, first hosting St. Bonaventure on Friday at Wish Field, then traveling to Normal, Ill. to face Illinois State. The Blue Demons came out with a 1-0 victory over St. Bonaventura in their home opener. Senior Lauren Pagone scored the game-winner for the team, and DePaul outshot St. Bonaventure 8-3. The Blue Demons couldn't find the net on Sunday against the Redbirds and the match ended with 1-0 in favor of Illinois State.

This weekend marks a homecoming for several Tigers. Five of Mizzou's players come from Illinois, most from suburbs not too far from Chicago. Sophomores Haley Krentz and Kelsey Mulcahy and junior Kendra Collins come from the town of Naperville, Ill. while sophomore Kellie Gavigan hails from the suburb of Libertyville. Sophomore Jessica Gwin also calls the area home, coming from West Lafayette, Indiana which is not too far across the border. Also from Illinois is junior Jessie Crabtree, however her hometown of Marion, Ill. is located in the southern part of the state.

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. So far in the season, Blitz holds a record of 154-128-14 at Mizzou.

Sophomore keeper Jessica Gwin is stepping up this season after having a year of experience under Tasha Dittamore. Gwin has started all three games for the Tigers, which have been against nationally ranked teams Maryland, Duke and North Carolina. So far this season Gwin has racked up 28 saves, with over 268 minutes of playing time. She ranks first in the Big 12 in the categories of saves and saves per game (9.33).

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 mutigers.com, updates on the Missouri women's soccer team can be found on several social media sites. Search Mizzou Soccer on www.facebook.com, check out videos at www.youtube.com/mizzousoccer and at www.vimeo.com/user4444281, and get frequent updates at www.twitter.com/MizzouSoccer.



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