After a tough stretch with one win in five matches, Missouri ended the season with a huge 2-1 victory over Arkansas at Walton Stadium on Friday night. The win gives the Tigers a 4th place finish in the SEC, and more importantly, clinches a first round bye in next week's SEC Tournament.
Senior Forward Taylor Grant tallied the opening goal in the 33rd minute from 20 yards out, her first since September 14th during Mizzou's 3-1 win over Cal State Northridge, to make it 1-0 Tigers.
The Razorbacks struck after the halftime break, with Alexandra Fischer sending a shot into the corner of the net, just outside of the reach of Senior Keeper McKenzie Sauerwein to knot the game at 1-1 in the 53rd minute.
Several chances later, MU forced a corner in the 73rd minute and Freshman Midfielder Savannah Trujillo lofted the ball into play. Sophomore Lauren Selaiden, (the hero of the South Carolina game), caught the ball on the back of her heel and sent it toward goal. The Hogs keeper, Cameron Carter, saw the ball bounce off her hands and roll across the line for what would be the game-winning score.
Arkansas came close in the waning minutes on a breakaway, but the defense would hold and give the Tigers the 2-1 victory to close the 2014 regular season.
Elsewhere in the SEC, Kentucky knocked off Alabama (2-1) and Texas A&M hung on to beat Georgia (2-1), moving Mizzou past the Tide and Bulldogs in the standings into fourth place. Coach Bryan Blitz and his team now have more time to rest before traveling down to Orange Beach, AL for the SEC Tournament, with a rematch against No. 20 South Carolina looming.
A rematch with the Gamecocks is a difficult match-up for the Tigers to start the conference tournament, but for now, Mizzou should celebrate this season's performance after a less than impressive 2013. Taylor Grant stepped up in a big way when her team needed her the most, and in goal, McKenzie Sauerwein left her mark in the record books, as she'll leave Columbia with several school goalkeeper records to her name. Coach Blitz and the Tigers accomplished the goal of clinching that first-round bye, and now we wait and see how this team performs on the big stage of the SEC Tournament.