COLUMBIA-The University of Missouri men’s lacrosse team defeated Missouri S&T 14-2 and Oklahoma State 13-0 in the team’s first home series of the season. With the wins the Tigers improve to 2-1 on the season.
On Saturday’s game against Missouri S&T, Mizzou got out to a slow start, scoring only one goal in the first quarter on eight shots. However, starting in the second quarter, the Tigers poured it on the Miners defense, tallying 13 goals over the final 45 minutes. Missouri ended up with 38 shots on cage, one of the squad’s highest totals in four seasons.
Leading the way for the Tigers was senior captain Grant Pieper (Plano, TX, Plano Senior) who tallied six points (two goals, four assists) while freshman attackman Hayden Clark (Naperville, IL, Naperville North) led the Tigers with three goals. The Missouri first line midfield and attack units were responsible for 11 of the team’s 14 goals.
On the defensive side, freshman Blake Habib (Barrington, IL, Barrington) had the play of the game when he ran the ball down the field before scoring the first goal by a Tigers long pole this season. As well, goalies John Marshall (St. Louis, St. Louis University High), Chad Ummel (Omaha, NE, Burke) and Kevin Murphy (Houston, TX, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory) posted a one goal, six save outing. Junior goaltender and captain Matt Needham (Northbrook, IL, Glenbrook North) had the day off in the cage.
On Sunday Missouri took on Oklahoma State a day after the Cowboys 10-1 blowout win over the Miners. With similar scores against a common opponent, many expected the game to stay close. However, Missouri put in their best team effort on the season and came away with the 13-0 win. The Tigers shutout is the team’s first shutout since April 12, 2013, a 17-0 win at home against Arkansas.
Mizzou came out ready to play and put six past the Oklahoma State goalie before the first quarter ended and nine total by halftime.
Missouri put up massive numbers in many statistical categories, including 30 shots on cage and 40 ground balls, a season-high so far for the Tigers. Mizzou also saw a very balanced scoring effort, as 11 different Tigers logged points in the game. Senior Drew Roither (Wildwood, MO, Lafayette) registered his most points this season, leading the team with five points (2g, 3a), plus collecting a ground ball.
Face-off specialists Phil Bergman (Media, PA, Strath Haven) and Caelan Morgret (Columbia, MO, Rock Bridge) combined to go 15/17 on face-offs against the Cowboys.
The Tigers will be away this week for arguably their hardest road trip of the season. On Friday Missouri will square off against No. 18 Florida State in Tallahassee in the program’s first game against an MCLA Top 25 school since 2013, before heading up to Cumming, Georgia to play North Carolina State and Central Florida, a program poised to make a deep run in the SELC tournament this season.