Soccer Ends Regular Season at Kansas



Oct. 29, 2009

After wins over Iowa State and Nebraska to round out their regular season home schedule, the Big 12 Champion University of Missouri women's soccer team (12-4-3, 7-0-2) will look to end the regular season on a high note at Kansas (11-7-1, 3-6-0). The two teams will square off on Friday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m.

On Friday, Oct. 23, the Tigers welcomed the Iowa State Cyclones to Walton Stadium. After a scoreless first half, the Tiger offense found its rhythm as they went on to win 3-1. Senior Kristin Andrighetto scored her first goal of the night in the 50th minute, by dribbling into the right side of the box and cracking a high shot just inside the right post to put Missouri up 1-0. Iowa State managed to even the score in the 68th, when Amanda Nimtz got a foot on a loose ball in the box and put a low, hard shot past goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore to make the score 1-1. It didn't take long for Missouri to regain the lead, however, as sophomore Jessie Crabtree got a head on the ball right in front of Cyclone keeper Ann Gleason from a corner kick to make the score 2-1 in the 72nd minute. The Tigers would seal victory just minutes later, as Junior Alysha Bonnick worked her way into the right side of the Cyclone box and found Andrighetto with a low cross that the striker easily finished.

The following Sunday, the Tigers put on an offensive clinic in a 5-0 rout of Nebraska. The Tigers controlled possession from early on, and finally cracked the Nebraska defense in the 20th minute. Michelle Collins got the ball on a counter attack and dribbled down the left sideline before making a move into the box. Her attempted cross near the net deflected off of a Nebraska defender and into the net to put Missouri up 1-0. The Tigers doubled their lead in the 40th minute, when junior Kari Adam played a ball in the box to a waiting Candace Ruff, who tapped the ball in to make it 2-0 heading into half time. In the second half, the Tigers continued to relentlessly attack the Husker defense. Bonnick got on the board in the 50th minute after latching onto a ball played all the way down the left sideline from Krista Kruse. Bonnick beat her defender 1-on-1 and slotted her low shot past Husker goalkeeper Jessica Mills to push the score to 3-0. The Tigers kept pushing, and Bonnick netted her sixth goal of the season just under ten minutes later. Michelle Collins dribbled the ball into the Nebraska box and found Bonnick, who struck a hard shot into the net to make the score 4-0. Senior Kristin Andrighetto would score her team-leading eighth goal of the season in the 73rd minute, when she fired a rebound in off a Michelle Collins shot. The Tigers would hold on for the remaining minutes and preserve their 5-0 lead. The victory earned the Tigers the title of Big 12 regular season champions, the first for any Missouri program since softball won it in 1997.



After their match with Kansas, the Tigers will open Big 12 tournament play on Nov. 4 in San Antonio, Texas. The game time and opponent are still to be announced.

The Kansas Jayhawks (11-7-1, 3-6-0) are 2-2-0 in their last four games, with their most recent victory a 1-0 result over Iowa State last Sunday, Oct. 25.

Sophomore Emily Cressy currently leads the team in points with 21, having scored nine goals and assisting on three others in 2009. Two Jayhawks share second place in the point standings with 19. Senior Monica Dolinsky has five goals and seven assists to her credit, while freshman Whitney Berry has racked up five goals and nine assists this season. Dolinsky's penalty kick in the 55th minute against Iowa State last Sunday proved to be the difference and helped keep Kansas' postseason hopes alive.

Goalkeepers Kat Liebetrau and Julie Hanley have split time between the pipes for Kansas this season, and have combined for five shutouts and 70 saves this season. Head coach Mark Francis has compiled a 128-85-16 at KU and is currently in his 11th season in charge. Kansas is winning the all-time series with Missouri with a record of 9-6-1

With their 5-0 drubbing of Nebraska last Sunday, Oct. 25, the Tigers wrapped up the Big 12 regular season championship. No Missouri program has won the regular season title since the softball team won it back in 1997. The Tigers will look to improve upon last year's successes as they attempt to defend the 2008 Big 12 tournament trophy when the tournament begins play on Nov. 4 in San Antonio, Texas.

The Tigers are currently riding a ten-game unbeaten streak, the longest streak in program history. The Tigers have gone 8-0-2 in their past ten matches, beginning with their 8-0 romp over Northern Iowa on Sept. 25. In that span, the Tigers have been extremely efficient offensively as well as defensively, having outscored opponents 33-9. The program's previous unbeaten record was seven games, which came in 2006. Currently, the Tigers have won six in a row, which ties the record for the program's longest winning streak.

While the Tiger offense is thriving, Head Coach Brian Blitz is just two wins away from winning his 200th career match. Blitz has already set another victory milestone this season, having won his 150th game with the Tigers on Oct. 16 in a 5-0 victory over Baylor. Blitz began coaching at Butler from 1991-1995, and amassed a 45-44-8 record in that span.

This season's batch of seniors has made their mark on Missouri soccer having compiled the best winning percentage (.651) of any class to come through the program. The class helped the program reach the NCAA tournament in 2007 and 2008, their first trips since the 2003 season. Along with berths in postseason play, the 2009 seniors helped lead a team that won the Big 12 tournament in 2008 and just recently won the Big 12 regular season championship, a first for any Missouri program since 1997.

Several players are poised to make a move on the Mizzou Soccer record books this season in the career statistical categories. Andrighetto is fourth in game winning goals (nine), goals (35), and career points (89). Michelle Collins is tied for sixth in game winning goals (eight), fifth in assists (22), seventh points (74), and eighth in goals (26). Bonnick, as a junior, has become the all-time career leader in game winning goals (13), is seventh in goals (28), and seventh in points (74).

Senior goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore has set herself apart in her career with the Tigers. She is now the all-time career leader in shutouts (16), and is tied for first in wins (32), third in goals against (55), runner-up in win percentage (.676), goals against average (1.02), and is tied for fourth in saves (174).

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.

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.

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.

So far this season, Bonnick is third on the team in points with 16, notching six goals and four assists in 2009.

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.

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