COLUMBIA, Mo. – Battling back from an early deficit, No. 13 Vanderbilt soccer nearly pulled even against Missouri Saturday night at Walton Soccer Stadium on multiple occasions but fell 2-1 to the Tigers.
“This was certainly far from what we are capable of,” said head coach Darren Ambrose. “It was a disappointing outcome for us. We have to learn to handle the adversities we are facing at the moment. We have a lot of younger athletes that are getting valuable experience that will be beneficial as we move forward.”
After Missouri (1-1-0, 1-1-0) scored in the opening 15 minutes, the Tigers made it a 2-0 advantage in the 61st minute. Just two minutes of game action later, Maddie Elwell drew a foul just outside the 18-yard box and Amber Nguyen sent the ensuing free kick low through the box. Sailing through traffic, the ball made its way to Madi Allen and she redirected it off the end of her foot to cut the Tiger lead in half with exactly 28 minutes to play.
In the closing two minutes, the Dores (1-2-0, 1-2-0) had a pair of excellent chances to even the game but both missed the mark by inches. With less than two minutes to go, a cross into the box fell to Leila Azari’s feet but her pressured chance rolled inches outside the left post. Then with 63 seconds to play, Ella Shamburger sent a long free kick into the box and Abi Brighton rose above the Missouri defense to get her head on the ball on the right side of goal. Her attempt floated back to the left but dinged off the corner where the post meets the crossbar and stayed out.
Just eight minutes prior to the final two chances of the game, Vanderbilt also had a solid opportunity when Elwell sent a corner kick into the box and Allen tipped the ball back across the box for Raegyn Kelley. Her tough chance rolled just inches beyond the far left post, though.
Both Missouri goals were the result of set pieces. The first Tiger goal came on a free kick sent into the box and headed home from point-blank range by Grace Kitts. Missouri’s second goal came after a short free kick turned into a ball sent into the middle of the box. After bouncing around off a couple players, it came to the foot of Cassidy Nurnberger with her shot ringing the inside of the left post and bouncing in.
After two in a row on the road, Vanderbilt will return home for its next outing Sunday, Oct. 11, against South Carolina. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. on ESPNU.
NOTE: Content courtesy Vanderbilt Athletics press release.