Clark-less Tigers fall to No. 7 Florida, end unbeaten streak at eight

Clark-less Tigers fall to No. 7 Florida, end unbeaten streak at eight

 

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By Joey Gjata, 23 Sports

Sunday, Sept. 28-

Undefeated in its last eight games (7-0-1) and coming off of an upset performance at South Carolina just 48 hours prior, the Mizzou women’s soccer team suffered a 3-1 defeat on the road against high-flying Florida in Gainesville.

The Tigers were without senior play-maker Kaysie Clark, who scored the only goal in this fixture last season. Leading the SEC in assists, the senior’s ability to dribble through players and set up her teammates has been a key factor to the team’s success this season.

Mizzou started off solid defensively, keeping a high line and forcing the Gator midfield to place passes through tight windows. The Tigers nearly capitalized on a set piece opportunity early on, but were unable to. The chance proved to be the only incisive threat in the first half for the away side.

Florida’s Savannah Jordan hit the woodwork minutes later with a strike from the edge of box. After a series of passes that lead to some creative and intricate play, senior attacker Havana Solaun scored the game’s first goal with a chip shot over Missouri keeper McKenzie Sauerwein.

The hosts began controlling possession and in the 33’ Florida’s Betsy Middleton doubled the lead for the home side after Sauerwein saved the initial attempt-one of three saves on the day for the senior goalie.

Fortunate to be down by just two, the Tigers came out of the break with some driving intent thanks in part to a tactical formation change that added an extra midfielder to cope with Clark’s absence.

With increased pressure and a goalkeeping error by Florida, striker Taylor Grant found Alli Magaletta who scored a laser from 30 yards out. The freshman tallied her second goal of the season and the senior provided her first assist.

However, ten minutes later, the Gators continued to find space down the right flank through senior winger Tessa Andujar, resulting in a goal by Jordan who capitalized after hitting the frame in the first half. The sophomore recorded her seventh goal of the season, ranking 3rd best in the SEC.

Both teams nearly scored again, but in the end Gators look comfortable in a win that keeps them atop the SEC standings. Overall the Gators out-shot the Tigers 17-11.

Missouri will play two matches at home, where it holds an undefeated 4-0-1 record, next weekend against Kentucky on Thursday at 6 p.m. and Vanderbilt on Sunday at 1 p.m.