No. 21 Soccer Continues Home Stand



Sept. 3, 2009

Coming off a home defeat to DePaul, the No. 21 University of Missouri women's soccer team resumes play this weekend against teams from both ends of the country. First off, the Tigers will face the Rhode Island Rams (0-2-0) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Walton Stadium, followed by a match against the Long Beach State 49ers (1-1-0) on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.

The Tigers opened up their home schedule on a winning note, defeating Northwestern by a score of 2-0 last Friday, Aug. 28. Senior Michelle Makasini scored just minutes after her debut as a sub to put the Tigers up 1-0 in the 31st minute. The Wildcats pressured Missouri heavily in the second half, notching eight shots and earning seven corner kicks, but the Tiger defense held firm. Senior Michelle Collins sealed a Tiger victory after tapping home a late goal to put Missouri in the lead for good at 2-0.

Against visiting DePaul last Sunday, Aug. 30, the Tigers faced a stiff challenge from the very beginning. Both teams came out firing, but struggled to find the back of the net early on. The Blue Demons capitalized in the 25th minute, when Morgan Celaya sprung Shannon Williams with a through-pass down the middle. Celaya took a touch at the top of the box before putting her shot past Dittamore to give the Blue Demons the lead. In the second half, Missouri nearly equalized when Makasini laid the ball off in the box to Kristin Andrighetto, but her shot sailed just high of the crossbar. DePaul's first half goal would prove to be the winner, as the Tigers fell 1-0 at home.

After a four game home stand, Missouri will be away from the confines of Walton Stadium for the next two weekends. The Tigers will travel to Auburn, AL to play in the Auburn Tournament. Missouri will face Auburn on Friday, Sept. 11, at 7:00 p.m., followed by a matchup against Vanderbilt on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. The Tigers will then travel to Los Angeles, Calif. to play in the UCLA Invitational. Missouri will face Loyola-Marymount on Friday, Sept. 18, at 6:30 p.m., followed by a tough matchup against nationally-ranked UCLA on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1:00 p.m.



The Rhode Island Rams (0-2-0) opened their 2009 season away with a 1-0 loss to Boston University. In their home opener last Sunday, the Rams were defeated 2-0 by New Hampshire despite outshooting the Wildcats 17-7. Head Coach Zac Shaw, in his fifth season, returns ten starters and twenty players total from a 2008 team that finished 7-12-1 (3-8-0) overall and finished 12th in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The Rams are led by sophomore forward Stephanie Santos, who led the team last season in goals (six) as well as points (13). Santos currently leads the team in shots (four) and shots on goal (two). Junior forward Adrienne Ruhe Lischke, who finished second on the team in goals (four) and points (12) a year ago, has been active as well for the Rams notching four shots of her own as well as a shot on goal.

This will be the first ever meeting between Missouri and Rhode Island.

The Long Beach State 49ers (1-1-0) opened their season with a 2-0 win at home against Fresno State, followed by a 4-0 home defeat to visiting UCLA. Head Coach Mauricio Ingrassia returns six starters from a 2008 squad that ended the season 14-5-4 (7-0-1) and finished first in the Big West Conference before being sent home in the first round of their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

The 49ers return two of their top three point earners from a year ago. Junior Lindsay Bullock finished her 2008 campaign as the team leader in goals (10) and points (21). Junior Kristen Kiefer figures to factor prominently into the 49er offense after finishing 2008 with eight goals and 18 points. In 2009, sophomore Shawna Gordon currently leads the team offensively, notching three points with a goal and assist to her name.

Long Beach State will make a trip to Lawrence, Kansas on Friday to take on the Jayhawks before heading to Columbia for Sunday's game. This will be the first ever meeting between Missouri and Long Beach State.

After a brief setback, the Tigers have dropped a few spots in the national polls. Soccer America magazine rates Missouri highest at No. 21 in their poll released this week, while the Tigers ended up No. 24 in Soccer Times Top 25. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America ranks the Tigers at No. 23 nationally, and TopDrawerSoccer ranks MU 24th in their 64-team tournament rankings.

Several players are poised to make a move on the Mizzou Soccer record books this season in the career statistical categories. Andrighetto sits in fourth for game winning goals (nine), and sixth for both career points (71) and goals (28). Collins is seventh in game winning goals (seven), seventh in points (60), tied for seventh in goals (22), and eighth in assists (16). Bonnick, as a junior, ranks third in game winning goals (10), tied for seventh in goals (22), and eighth in points (59).

Senior goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore has set herself apart with a standout 2008 season in net for the Tigers. She currently holds the top spot on the career charts in goals against average (0.95) and goals against (33), is tied for first shutouts (14), runner-up in win percentage (.727) ranks third in wins (24), and sits in sixth in saves (114).

The Tigers return eight starters and 15 of 21 letter winners from their successful 2008 squad, but there are plenty of new faces as the Tigers kick off the 2009 campaign. Missouri signed one of its largest incoming classes in program history with the arrival of nine freshmen and a senior transfer for the 2009 season. Freshmen goalkeeper Jessica Gwin and freshman midfielder Haley Krentz were both named to TopDrawerSoccer's Top 100 Players to Watch, while Michelle Makasini comes to Columbia from LSU after earning TopDrawerSoccer All-American honors as a freshman and sophomore.

All told, the Tigers have a balance of 11 upperclassmen (seven seniors, four juniors) and 16 underclassmen (six sophomores, 10 freshmen) that hail from nine different states and Canada. Additionally, three new coaches will be on the sideline for the Tigers. Shaunna Daugherty, formerly an assistant at Illinois State, and Todd Shulenberger, from Clemson, join the Missouri coaching staff as assistants, while volunteer assistant Danny Graville enters his first season in charge of fitness and conditioning for the team.

Missouri's 2009 schedule features four reigning conference champions, eight teams that were in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, and teams from nine different conferences across the country. The Tigers will play in two weekend tournaments in September, first travelling to Alabama to face host Auburn and fellow SEC rival Vanderbilt. The following weekend, Mizzou goes on the road to Los Angeles for the UCLA Invitational to play Loyola Marymount and a marquee matchup with preseason No. 3 UCLA.

For the first time in program history, the Tigers were picked to finish first in the Big 12 Soccer Preseason Poll as voted on by the conference's coaches. Missouri and Texas A&M tied atop the league standings in cumulative voting points, with the Tigers receiving four of the 11 first place votes. 2008 Big 12 Championship runner-up Colorado came in third with 76 points, while `08 regular season champions Oklahoma State were tabbed fourth with 68 points. Perennial power Texas finished fifth, followed by Kansas, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Iowa State.

For the second year in a row, the Preseason All-Big 12 Team featured three Missouri Tigers. Seniors Crystal Wagner, Meghan Pfeiffer, and Andrighetto were all selected to the conference preseason team as voted on by league coaches. The three selections were the second most of any team, trailing only Texas A&M's four honorees. Andrighetto is a two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection and Pfeiffer is a two-time All-Big 12 Second Team selection; both players received the recognitions their sophomore and junior seasons.

Junior striker Alysha Bonnick is in consideration for one of the top recognitions in the sport with the NSCAA's announcement of the 2009 Hermann Trophy Watch List. Bonnick is one of 45 players in the country on the Missouri Athletic Club's (MAC) list of potential award winners, and just one of five from the Big 12 conference. The Ontario, Canada native led Missouri in scoring last season with 26 points en route to earning Soccer Buzz All-America fourth team honors and All-Big 12 First Team accolades. Bonnick was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2007 after recording 32 points on 11 goals and 10 assists, all Missouri freshman records.

Pfeiffer, Wagner, and Collins all received call-ups to travel to England with the United States U-23 National Team in July for two games against the English U-23 National Team and a match versus the Reading women's club. Only Wagner was able to accept the invitation, and the senior co-captain appeared in all three matches for the USA while abroad. Wagner led a Tigers' defense that set school records in 2008 with 12 shutouts and a 0.80 goals against average, earning Soccer Buzz All-Central region second team and NSCAA/adidas All-Central region third team honors.

Mizzou soccer spectators will enjoy a new video board and sound system at Walton Stadium this season. Installed by Daktronics, Inc., the 21 feet by 12 feet, full color display is one of four new state-of-the-art displays to be added to Missouri athletic facilities. The board will be display match statistics, marketing information, and live scores, with video features expected to be added as the season progresses.

In addition to the official news, photos, statistics, and more available on, the Missouri soccer program is complementing the team's coverage for all those who follow Mizzou Soccer Online. The supplementary sites include a Twitter account for instant updates on the team, a YouTube channel to post match footage and media coverage, a Facebook Fan Page for news and information, and which features a team blog, podcasts, and much more. The Tigers are excited to continue highlighting their program in the national spotlight via all of these resources and to provide up close and timely coverage of the team for fans, alumni, and recruits.

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