JOPLIN - Despite taking an early lead, the Missouri Southern Lions soccer team fell 2-1 this afternoon to Northwest Missouri on Senior Day at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.
Southern (4-8-4, 3-5-3 MIAA) took an early lead in the match thanks to a goal by senior forward Kelly White as she found the back of net for her first goal of the year in the 11th minute. After a corner kick from sophomore forward Kimmy Hulse that deflected off a Bearcat defender, the ball found its way to sophomore defenderMichaela Altvater who passed it to White who booted it in from ten yards out on the right side that found the back left corner of the net.
The Bearcats (5-11-2, 3-7-1) tied the match up at one in the 40th minute as junior forward Elizabeth Walde took advantage of a slip by a Southern defender to find the back left corner of the net from seven yards out. With the match knotted at one at halftime, the Lions honored this year's six seniors for their many contributions to the soccer program. Seniors Abby Risner, Tiffany Laughlin, Dana Wilhelm, Samantha Zoltanksi and White all played their final games at Southern.
With strong goalkeeping being the theme of the second half, neither side looked like it would score in the period and the match was headed for overtime. Unfortunately for the Lions, Northwest was able to capitalize on a scoring chance in the 88th minute as Walde notched her second goal of the game from three yards out that went just under Risner's outstretched arms. The Bearcats held off the Lions the final two minutes to steal the win.
Northwest outshot Southern 14-12, but each side had 10 shots on goal. Laughlin led the attack with four shots, while White added three, all on goal. Risner made eight saves in the match as she finishes the year with 40 saves and a .784 save percentage.
With the loss, the Lions finish in a tie for 9th place in the MIAA with Fort Hays State wrapping up the season 4-8-4 overall, 3-5-3 in the MIAA.