Tigers Face the Jayhawks

Alysha Bonnick and the Mizzou soccer team prepare for KU.

Alysha Bonnick and the Mizzou soccer team prepare for KU.

Sept. 23, 2010

Game 9: Missouri (2-4-2) vs. Kansas (4-4)

Friday, September 24; 6:30 p.m.
Walton Stadium; Columbia, Mo.
Listen: KCOU-Radio 88.1 FM
Watch: Mizzou All-Access
Live Stats: GameTracker on mutigers.com

Missouri vs. Kansas Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The Tigers are finally getting into conference play after powering through a tough non-conference schedule. The Tigers and the Jayhawks will battle it out this Friday, with the match being the first conference play for both teams. Missouri faced top-notch opponents Maryland, Duke and North Carolina as well as DePaul, Northwestern, Arkansas, Loyola and Milwaukee. Following this weekend's match against the Kansas Jayhawks, Missouri will host Oklahoma State and Oklahoma before getting back on the road.

Missouri and Kansas last met up in San Antonio, Texas in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. The Tigers pulled off a 3-2 overtime victory, with a goal from Kristin Andrighetto five minutes into the first overtime period. The win advanced Mizzou into the semifinal where they met up with Oklahoma State. Andrighetto contributed two goals to the match, and Jessie Crabtree added another. Goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore set new records for the program recording the most minutes in goal as well as the most games started in goal (54). Missouri out shot KU in the match 30-10 and recorded 16 corner kicks to Kansas' 3. The Tigers are 7-10-1 against Kansas in program history.

MU hosted both Loyola Maryland and Wisconsin-Milwaukee last weekend. The Tigers came out strong against both teams, snagging a 3-2 double-overtime victory over the Loyola Greyhounds. Haley Krentz scored the game-winner for Missouri, posting a long-range shot over the Greyhound goalkeeper's reach. Kendra Collins also scored her first goal of the season in the match. Mizzou dropped to the Milwaukee Panthers 3-2 in Sunday's game, however Haley Krentz scored her second goal of the weekend. Sarah Thune recorded her first goal of the season, bending in a shot from just past the top of the box.

Kansas is 4-4 on the season so far, facing some of the same opponents as the Tigers. Last weekend, the Jayhawks fell to the Milwaukee Panthers, a familiar foe for the Tigers as well. The Panthers topped Kansas 1-0 in an overtime match last Friday despite being outshot by the Jayhawks 24-22. Kansas also hosted Missouri State last weekend, beating the team 2-0. Both goals were scored by KU's Kortney Clifton, marking her first two goals of the season. Kansas goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau leads the Big 12 in saves with 51 and saves per game (6.38). The redshirt sophomore earned 11 starts in her freshman season and made 14 appearances.

Friday, Sept. 10 marked the beginning of a six-game home stretch for the Tigers. After traveling three weekends in a row, the home matches are a welcome change for Missouri. The series will continue with this weekend's match against Big 12 opponent Kansas on Friday, Sept. 24. Fans wearing gold to the game will receive a discounted admission of only $2. Members of local YMCAs will receive vouchers for this weekend's game as well.

Senior co-captain Alysha Bonnick is moving up in the league this week. The forward from North Gower, Ontario is ranked No. 5 in the Big 12 conference for goals (5) and goals per game (0.62). She sits at No. 8 in the category of points per game (11) and holds the No. 9 spot in the categories of points (11) and shots per game (3.12). Bonnick leads the Tigers in points, goals, shots and shots on goal. In the record books, Bonnick is the third-highest scorer in program history with 35 career goals so far, she sits below Kristin Andrighetto (38) and Nikki Thole (61).

Haley Krentz HEATS UP
Tiger midfielder Haley Krentz was on fire during last weekend's matches. Krentz scored the game-winning goal for the Tigers against Loyola Maryland one minute into the second overtime period. She hit the back of the net again on Sunday against Milwaukee, helping the Tigers gain ground against the Panthers. Krentz now has three career goals.

Freshmen Dominique Richardson and Danielle Nottingham received recognition from topdrawersoccer.com this week. The two have been ranked in the website's College Freshman National Top 100 Women. Richardson, a midfielder from Fullerton, Calif, checked in at No. 74 on the list. Richardson has started in all five games for the Tigers this season, and she has racked up a total of 21 shots. She has two goals on the season. Nottingham, a Frisco, Texas native, came in at the No. 79 spot. She has also earned a starting position for Mizzou, playing a total of 525 minutes so far this season. Nottingham has five shots and one assist on the season.

Head coach Bryan Blitz earned his 200th career win last week in a 4-0 shutout of Arkansas. For Blitz, the next win was more important that the 200th. The program's only head coach credits the players he has coached with his success. Blitz holds a record of 201-173-25 on his career. Before coming to Missouri, the Dallas, Texas native spent five years as the head coach for Butler University where he amassed a record of 45-44-8.

Sophomore keeper Jessica Gwin is stepping up this season after having a year of experience under Tasha Dittamore. Gwin has started all five games for the Tigers, which have included games against nationally ranked teams Maryland, Duke and North Carolina. So far this season Gwin has racked up 34 saves, with over 511 minutes of playing time. She ranks second in the conference for saves per game (5.67) and holds the No. 3 spot for saves (34).

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.

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.

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.

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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