The Mizzou soccer team is headed back to the NCAA Tournament as the Tigers earned the fifth NCAA Tournament berth in program history and the first since the 2008 season. The Tigers will host the Illinois Fighting Illini in the first round at Walton Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be streamed online for free.
Missouri earned its berth with a 14-7 overall record, including wins over No. 11
Memphis and No. 15 California, as well as four victories over teams ranked in the top 27 of last week's RPI. The 14 wins also ties the second-best single-season total in program history.
Mizzou and Illinois have met eight previous times on the pitch, with the Tigers owning a 4-3-1 mark in the series history. The last meeting between the schools came in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament and ended in a 1-1 tie, with Illinois advancing to the round of 16 on penalty kicks, 4-3.
In games played in Columbia, Mizzou has a 2-1-1 advantage in the series, and is 2-0-1 in the last three meetings (2002, 2006, 2008).
TIGERS IN THE TOURNAMENT
2012 marks the fifth NCAA Tournament berth for the Tigers, joining 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2008. In all, the Tigers have played seven Tournament games, all played at Walton Stadium, and own a record of 2-3-2 in those games. Two of Mizzou's three losses in the Tournament came in overtime, as the Tigers lost to eventual national champion USC in double overtime in 2007 and fell to Marquette in quadruple overtime in 1999.
Below is a game-by-game history of Mizzou's tournament games:
|Year||Round|| Opponent|| Outcome|
|1999||First|| Marquette|| L, 3-2 (4OT)|
|2003||First|| Eastern Illinois|| W, 1-0|
| || Second|| No. 16 Kansas|| L, 2-0|
|2007||First|| SEMO|| T, 1-1 (Mizzou advanced on penalty kicks, 2-0)|
| || Second|| No. 8 USC|| L, 1-0 (2OT)|
|2008||First|| Evansville|| W, 2-0|
| || Second|| Illinois|| T, 1-1 (Illinois advanced on penalty kicks, 4-3)|
TIGERS HOST, ONCE AGAIN
Saturday's contest with Illinois marks Missouri's eighth NCAA Tournament game and the eighth such game played at Walton Stadium. In their five NCAA berths, the Tigers have never played a contest away from the friendly confines of their home field.
Last Time Out
The Tigers suffered a 3-0 loss to No. 11 Florida in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament on Friday, Nov. 2.
The Gators notched two goals within a 40-second span in the first half to go up 2-0 and added an insurance goal in the second to win 3-0.
Two days earlier, Mizzou defeated Kentucky, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. Senior Haley Krentz put the Tigers up 1-0 in the 26th minute off an assist from senior Taiwo Adeshigbin. Junior Alyssa Diggs added a goal in the 28th minute off assists from Krentz and sophomore Kaysie Clark.
The Wildcats got within one in the 73rd minute but redshirt sophomore goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein made nine saves to help the Tigers win.
TIGERS TIED FOR SECOND ON REGULAR SEASON WINS LIST
Mizzou's 2-1 win over Kentucky on Wednesday put the 2012 squad in a tie for second on the team's single-season wins list with 14 victories this year. The 1999 squad also recorded 14 wins.
The Tiger record of total wins in a season is 16, set in 2008.
|2. 14||2012, 1999|
|3. 13||2009, 2007, 2001|
DIGGS, HU EARN ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS
Senior defender Allison Hu and junior forward Alyssa Diggs of the Mizzou soccer team earned spots on the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District® 6 Women's Soccer First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced on Nov. 1. With their first team selections, both are now eligible for Capital One Academic All-America® honors.
Diggs and Hu are Mizzou's fifth and sixth Academic All-District first team honorees and the first since 2006.
KRENTZ, SAUERWEIN NAMED TO ALL-SEC-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Senior Haley Krentz and redshirt sophomore McKenzie Sauerwein of the Mizzou soccer team were named to the 2012 Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team, the conference announced on Nov. 4.
Krentz, who hails from Naperville, Ill., started both of Mizzou's games in the tournament and recorded a goal and an assist during Missouri's 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Kentucky on Wednesday, Oct. 31. On the season, Krentz has started all 21 games at forward and ranks tied for second on the team with 16 points, to go along with an SEC-best 10 assists. Her assist total is the most for a Tiger since 2007 and ranks tied for fourth on Mizzou's single-season list.
North Richland Hills, Texas, native Sauerwein started both SEC Tournament games in goal for the Tigers. She allowed one goal and made a season high nine saves against Kentucky in the quarterfinals. Sauerwein has played every minute of the 2012 season and boasts a record of 14-7, a goals against average of 1.09, a save percentage of .796 and has six shutouts on the year.
FOUR TIGERS EARN ALL-SEC HONORS
Four members of the No. 24 Mizzou soccer team earned All-SEC honors in voting conducted by the league's coaches, the conference announced on Oct. 29. Senior Allison Hu was named the Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year, juniors Alyssa Diggs and Dominique Richardson earned spots on the All-SEC first team and freshman Candace Johnson was named to the All-Freshman Team.
The Tigers were one of just three schools to have more than one selection to the first team.
Hu, a defender from St. Charles, Mo., shares Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors with Rafaella Souza of Ole Miss. Hu, who holds a 4.0 grade point average in Health Sciences, has started 20 games for Mizzou at central defender. She helped Missouri record six shutouts during the regular season and allow just over one goal per game.
A native of Coppell, Texas, Diggs leads the team with 17 points on eight goals and an assist, despite missing five games due to injury. She ranks tied for fifth in the SEC in goals per game (0.50), seventh in points per game (1.06) and tied for seventh in total goals (eight).
The 2012 honor marks Diggs' second consecutive all-conference first team honor, as she earned All-Big 12 first team accolades last season. She is just the third Tiger to earn multiple first team selections, joining Nikki Thole (1998, 1999 and 2000) and Kristin Andrighetto (2007, 2008 and 2009).
Richardson, who hails from Fullerton, Calif., started all 21 games at midfield in 2012. She ranks fourth on the team in minutes played among field players and has recorded four goals and an assist for nine points. Three of her goals were game-winners, including the winning tallies against South Carolina and Alabama in the waning minutes. The first team recognition marks Richardson's third career conference honor, as she earned All-Big 12 second team accolades in 2011 and was named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team in 2010.
Dallas, Texas, native Johnson started 18 games at defender. She scored Mizzou's first goal of the season against No. 11 Memphis in the season opener and played every minute of 14 games. Johnson also helped the Tiger defense to record six shutouts on the year.
TIGERS NOT AFRAID TO SHOOT
Mizzou enters the NCAA Tournament with 426 shots on the season, which is 23 more than any other SEC school. The Tigers lead the conference with 20.29 shots per contest.
The whole team is in on the action as nine different Tigers have at least 22 shots for the season. Additionally, 40.8 percent of the team's shots have been on goal. Six different players have a shot on goal percentage above 43 percent, led by senior Taiwo Adeshigbin at 56.4 percent.
KRENTZ DISHING OUT THE ASSISTS
With her assist on Mizzou's game-winnig goal against Kentucky on Oct. 31, senior Haley Krentz now has an SEC-best 10 on the season. The number also ranks her 13th nationally in total assists. Most impressive with her assist numbers is that Krentz entered this season with just six assists in three seasons. She had a then-career high three as a freshman in 2009.
Krentz's 10 assists are tied for fourth on Mizzou's single-season list and are the most for a Tiger since Alysha Bonnick recorded 10 in 2007. She needs three more to move into a tie for second place on the single-season list.
TIGERS ON BRINK OF SETTING CORNERS RECORD
Mizzou enters the NCAA Tournament with 155 corners on the season, a number that is tied for second nationally in that category. Colorado College leads the nation at 165, while Miami (OH) also has 155.
The Tigers are just seven corners shy of breaking the school single-season record of 161 set in 2008. If the team reaches its per game average of seven (actually 7.38), the record will fall against Illinois.
TIGER TRIO FINDING THE NET
The Tigers feature three different players who have tallied at least seven goals so far this season. Junior Alyssa Diggs leads the way with eight, while senior Taiwo Adeshigbin and sophomore Abi Raymer each have scored seven. Those tallies are career highs for all three players.
DIGGS MAKES THE MOST OF HER SHOTS
Junior Alyssa Diggs has tallied a team-high eight goals so far during the 2012 season. Most amazingly, Diggs has scored those eight goals on just 30 shots for a .267 shooting percentage.
Diggs also ranks fourth on the team in shots on goal percentage at .433, as 13 of her 30 shots have come on net.
MIZZOU'S OFFENSE SHARES THE WEALTH
Mizzou stands as one of the most prolific and balanced offenses in the SEC, as the Tigers have five players with at least 11 points, six players with at least nine points and seven players with at least five points.
This marks just the fourth time in Missouri history the team has at least five players with 11 points. The Tigers also accomplished the feat in 2009, 2002 and 1998.
Junior Alyssa Diggs leads with way with 17 points on eight goals and an assist. Senior Taiwo Adeshigbin and sophomore Abi Raymer both have 16 points on seven goals and two assists, while senior Krentz has 16 points on three goals and 10 assists. Sophomore Kaysie Clark has 11 points on four goals and three assists.
In all, 12 different Tigers have recorded at least one point.
CLARK PICKING UP HER PLAY OF LATE
After scoring Mizzou's first-ever SEC goal against Auburn on Sept. 14, sophomore Kaysie Clark went the next eight games without finding the back of the net. However, Clark enters the NCAA Tournament clicking offensively, as the midfielder has five points in the last four games.
Clark scored the first goal of the game in Missouri's contest against LSU on Oct. 21 and then tallied a goal in the 82nd minute against Texas A&M on Oct. 25 to tie the score at 1-1. She also assisted on the game-winning goal against Kentucky on Oct. 31.
Clark ranks fifth on the team with 11 points on four goals and three assists this season. In her two year career, she has 20 points on six goals and eight assists.
RICHARDSON WITH A KNACK FOR THE DRAMATICS
Of junior Dominique Richardson's four goals so far this season, three were credited as game-winners. Two of those game-winners came at the most important of times to send the Tigers to victory.
Against South Carolina on Sept. 16, Richardson scored with just 2:02 left in the contest to break a scoreless tie.
In Mizzou's game at Alabama on Oct. 14, the Fullerton, Calif., native notched the game-winner with just 1:09 left in regulation to give the Tigers a dramatic 2-1 win.
GREER TIED FOR 10TH IN CAREER GAMES PLAYED
Senior Jessica Greer has played in all 83 games Mizzou has played during her four-year career. The 83 games tie her for 10th with former Tigers Krista Kruse and Meghan Pfeiffer (2006-10) on Missouri's all-time list. Saturday's game will move Greer up to a tie for sixth on the career list (joining Janelle Cordia, Dyana Russell, Mallory Stipetich and Amber Swinehart).
Greer has played all over the field in her time in a Tiger uniform. She started her career as a forward, started 20 games at defender in 2011 and has seen playing time at both midfielder and defender in 2012.