Logan Ball, 23 Sports

Wednesday, November 2 –

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the Missouri Tigers played their final regular season game against No. 17 Florida in a tough 1-0 Gators victory.

The Tigers take on the Gators Wednesday in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament and a loss here will end their season entirely.

Missouri comes in a confidence boost though, as the SEC awards recently honored four of the team’s best athletes.

Senior Melanie Donaldson picked up an All-SEC First Team selection after attaining Second Team honors last year. The defensive standout was the focal point of opponents’ game plans and Donaldson’s ability to fly up and down the field helped her record two goals and an assist.

Kaitlyn Clark earned an All-SEC Second Team spot with her team-leading seven assists.

Lauren Selaiden, who started every game of her senior year, received her first athletic award with an All-Defensive Second Team selection. Like Donaldson, Selaiden was important on the defensive end. She was also third on the team in minutes played.

Freshman Sarah Luebbert received the most acclaim, receiving SEC Freshman of the Year, SEC All-Freshman team and Second Team All-SEC awards.

Luebbert led the Tigers in goals, points, shots on goal and was second in both shots and shot percentage.

Her role will be crucial in the game, as Florida’s defense has given up an average of a goal per game.

In the previous matchup, the offense struggled greatly.

The Tigers have averaged 20 shots per game this season, typical of a Brian Blitz-led team. The Gators defense held the Tigers to a less impressive 16 shots.

Missouri’s defense impressed in game one against Florida, as they held their opponent to one goal, an absolute strike by Julia Lester in the 36th minute.

The senior leadership of Donaldson and Selaiden will play an enormous role on defense to keep Florida out of the net. Luebbert needs to stay aggressive against one of the top defenses in the SEC.

The pivotal match starts at 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network and the victor goes on to play either Texas A&M or South Carolina in the semifinals.