SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI – The University of Missouri men’s lacrosse team lost its first game of the season to Missouri State 7-4. It is the Tigers’ first loss against the Bears in school history.
Missouri State got out to an early lead in the game, scoring two goals in the first five minutes. After taking a 4-0 lead, Mizzou got on the board with 20 seconds remaining in the first half as freshman attackman David Reed (Grayslake, Ill., Grayslake Central) scored his first career goal.
In the second half, the Tigers came out strong, with freshman attackman Hayden Clark (Naperville, Ill., Naperville North) scoring two goals, and sophomore midfielder Scott Flynn (St. Louis, Marquette) adding on one in the fourth. While the Tigers won the fourth quarter 2-1, and put five shots near the cage in the final two minutes, their early deficit was too much to overcome against the GRLC-Division 2 opponent.
Penalty problems were the storyline for the game as Mizzou tallied seven penalties for 7:30 minutes in the box. Through three quarters Missouri had more penalty minutes (6.5) than shots (6). While the Tigers man-down unit stood strong, the Bears capitalized on the opportunity, scoring multiple goals on the man-advantage.
Missouri also had trouble on the clear, successfully getting the ball to the offensive side only 60-percent of the time.
While the offense had troubles, the defense looked strong as junior goaltender Matt Needham (Northbrook, Ill., Glenbrook North) had 11 saves on the day. As well, the starting defensive unit of Matt Yacovino (St. Louis, Desmet Jesuit), Alex Schott (St. Louis, Ladue) and Riley O’Keefe (Rockford, Mich., Rockford) played well, tallying 17 ground balls, more than two-thirds of the team’s ground balls for the game.
Senior face-off specialist Phil Bergman (Media, Pa., Strath Haven) went 10 of 14 against Missouri State.
The Tigers next game will be the home opener against Missouri S&T on Saturday February 20. Game is set for noon at Stankowski Field.