COLUMBIA, MO – The University of Missouri’s Men’s Lacrosse team headed down to Nashville for the weekend to face a pair of familiar SEC foes, Auburn and Vanderbilt. After having their game against MO. State postponed last weekend due to the winter storm, it had been a couple weeks since the Tigers took the field. Auburn headed into the weekend at 6-0 and on the cusp of the rankings while Vanderbilt was 1-5, losing a few tight ones.
First up, Auburn. Auburn had been having a stellar season up to this point. They took down Vanderbilt the night before in a close one, 12-9, and with wins over some talented Texas teams, Texas and TCU, they were as hot as ever. Mizzou though came in ready and showed it out the gate out scoring Auburn 5-1 in the first quarter and 13-5 by the end of the third. It seemed Mizzou was about to run away with this game until the 4th quarter came. Penalties, penalties, penalties. Mizzou racked up nearly 10 minutes of penalties in the final frame, 3 of which coming on an illegal stick penalty which the refs admitted the next day was suppose to have been just a 1 minute penalty(strings too long). Auburn took advantage of every opportunity posting a 9-1 4th quarter to force OT. Mizzou would make quick work of it though as just seconds after the opening faceoff, Freshman midfield Alex Sahli would put the ball in the back of the net for the Mizzou victory. A big win for Mizzou who have often struggled on the road.
GOALS: So. Jack Eagan(5), Sr. Noah Iversen(3), Fr. Alex Sahli(2), Jr. Nick Pisani(2), Sr. Cory Chlebecki(2), Fr. Hunter Varley(1)
ASSISTS: Fr. Alex Sahli(4), Sr. Noah Iversen(2), Jr. Nick Pisani(2), Sr. Kyle Holmes(1), Jr. Matt Peterson(1)
FACEOFFS: So. Mike McDonough – 15/19 – 79%, Jr. Collin Schott – 7/14 – 50%
GOALIES: Jr. Connor Graves – 18 Saves, 14 GA – 56.3%
Mizzou would face Vanderbilt on Sunday before returning back to Columbia. Vanderbilt always makes for a tough game at their place and with the Tigers off to a slow start, they just couldn’t come up with the W in the end. Down 4-7 at half, the Tigers rallied to a 7-5 second half but would end up one goal short as Vandy would take it 12-11.
GOALS: Sr. Noah Iversen(4), So. Jack Eagan(3), So. Mike McDonough(1) Sr. Kyle Holmes(1), Jr. Nick Pisani(1), Sr. Sean Lazinger(1), Fr. Hunter Varley(1)
ASSISTS: Sr. Noah Iversen(3), Fr. Hunter Varley(2)
So. Jack Eagan(1), Sr. Cory Chlebecki(1), Fr. Alex Sahli(1)
FACEOFFS: So. Mike McDonough – 13/17 – 77%, Jr. Collin Schott – 6/10 – 60%
GOALIES: Jr. Connor Graves – 23 Saves, 12 GA – 65.7%
A 3-1 start on the year is the best start through 4 game the Tigers have had since the 2014 season. Considering the later start to the semester that Mizzou has compared to most programs(especially those in the south), all the practices lost due to the weather concerns, and with a team that is over 40% new to the squad, the Tigers are really holding their own. Noah Iverson has left off right where he started after leading the nation in points and assist in 2017 before studying abroad in 2018, Sophomore Jack Eagan is firing on all cylinders after not having played lacrosse for 2 years due to injuries, and Junior goalkeeper Connor Graves is owning the net. Next up are some UMLC match ups with Illinois State and the always tough Indiana. Go Tigers!