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Net Results 10-8-14: Soccer starts tough final stretch this weekend at Auburn

The Tigers have won seven of their last eight matches, but the final six games of the year present a tough test before the SEC Tournament in November.

I'll admit, the team I thought would be the most successful of the two major (Not including Football) fall sports would be Missouri Volleyball.

Instead, VolleyZou seems to be on a steady decline while Mizzou Soccer is rising back up the SEC and national rankings after a hot start to the 2014 season. In contrast to last year, they've won the games they were expected to win, and have pulled off an upset or two along the way.

After opening the year at 0-1-1, the 25th ranked Tigers have rattled off nine wins in the past 11 matches behind the stellar play of Senior Keeper McKenzie Sauerwein, and frankly, the entire Missouri offense this year. 11 different players have scored 24 goals for Missouri this year, with seven of those goals have come from true freshmen (!). MU isn't lighting up the scoreboard in any fashion this year, but they are scoring enough to finish with the victory when that final whistle sounds.

In goal, McKenzie Sauerwein has set her place in the record books with the most career wins, shutouts, saves, and games started and played in goal at Mizzou. She's posted five shutouts in 2014, including a 1-0 shutout victory of then #13 South Carolina to move the Tigers up on the SEC ladder. Sauerwein has done very well at Keeper, and I've said it before, she can't do it all on her own. The back line of the defense will need to close in on the attackers and clear the ball out of the defending half. They've done well enough to get the Tigers this far, but there needs to be improvement if the Tigers hope to make a return to the postseason this year.

The final six games of the regular season will give us a glimpse of just how good Coach Bryan Blitz and the team really are this year. These games will have a huge impact on where the Tigers will be seeded in next month's SEC tournament in Orange Beach, with matches against the (current) 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 7th place teams, three of those will be on the road as well. If the Tigers can win at least three of those games, a top six finish, which would immediately put them in the second round, would definitely be in the cards.

Mizzou jets off to Auburn this weekend looking for another three points, and to post their first ten-win season since 2012. The "Bad" Tigers have played well in conference play, despite what their 0-2-3 record might tell you. Auburn fell a goal short to South Carolina and Kentucky, and settled for ties with Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss. AU has relied heavily on the play of Keeper Alyse Scott, who has posted 6 shutouts with 39 saves on the year. The Sophomore also ranks 5th in the conference in GAA (Goals Allowed Average). I would expect Auburn to keep it close with Missouri for the majority, if not all, of this Friday's match, but someone will breakthrough for the Tigers and make it 10-win for the 2014 Mizzou Soccer team. Missouri 2, Auburn 0