Columbia, MO – The 2017 season came to wrap a little bit earlier this year than Mizzou would of liked, but nonetheless great strides have been taken and the bar will be even higher going into 2018.
The team finished 10-6 overall, just it’s third 10-win season since 2006 and first since 2011. To go along with that, Mizzou had 9 all-conference selections, including conference offensive player of the year Noah Iversen. The sophomore attackman flourished in the new offense under first year head coach Nick Anagnostis setting school records and leading the nation in assist(59) and points(100). Iversen also racked up 41 goals to go along with that. Also of note, freshman attackman Cameron Sellers scored 20G and 15A while sophomore middie-turned-attackman Grant Long put up 32G and 20A, having the attack line contribute a whopping 187 total points. The defense was led by 4-year starting goalie Matt Needham and senior Alex Schott, who were both 1st team all-conference selections with Needham boasting a .633 save percentage and Schott scooping up 60 ground balls on the year.
In conference play, Mizzou won the west side of the GRLC for the first time since 2014 and went 9-1 overall, it’s only loss coming in double overtime in the GRLC tournament semi-final against Miami(OH). Throughout the regular season, Mizzou avenged 2016 defeats against rivals Kansas and Missouri State and took down Illinois State for the first time since 2009. Mizzou was also able to defeat Illinois for the first time in over 12 years coming back from down 8-6 entering the 4th, to a 16-10 victory in a wild 10-goal 4th quarter run. This was also the first time in program history Mizzou took down every MCLA Missouri based team(MO S&T, MO. State, Washington U, and St. Louis U) in the same season, with a total goal differential of 63-13.
Mizzou improved its goals per game from 9.00 in 2016 to 11.75 in 2017. On the defensive side, Mizzou alum turned defensive coach Matt Yacovino helped guide the defense to only a 7.44 goals-against per game average, down from 9.53 in 2016. A +4.84 goal differential overall from 2016, a huge swing in just one season.
The bar will be higher than ever entering the 2018 season. Anything short of a conference championship and national tournament invite will be a disappointment.