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Net Results 8-22-14: Mizzou Soccer vs. Syracuse at Penn State Invitational

Missouri Soccer opens the season this weekend with two games at the Penn State Invitational vs. Syracuse and No. 12 West Virginia

Soccer

MUTigers.com: Soccer Opens Season at Penn State Invitational

Columbia Tribune: Soccer scouting report: MU vs. Syracuse

Tiger Tidbits
-2014 marks Mizzou's 19th season of soccer, as the program was started in 1996. The Tigers have an all-time record of 196-158-21.
-Head Coach Bryan Blitz enters 2014 just four wins shy of 200 at Mizzou, and nine wins shy of 250 in his coaching career.
-Three Tigers were named to the SEC Coaches' Preseason Watch List earlier in the week: senior midfielder Kaysie Clark, junior defender Candance Johnson and sophomore midfielder Melanie Donaldson.
-Kaysie Clark earned All-SEC first team honors in 2013 after pacing the squad with 15 points on six goals and three assists. She enters her senior season with 35 points on 12 goals and 11 assists.
-The 2014 Tigers are a family affair, with two pairs of sisters suiting up for Mizzou. Senior Kaysie Clark is joined on the pitch by her sister, freshman Kaitlyn, while freshman Jessica Johnson joins her sister Jessica on the squad.
-In its lone exhibition game of the year, Missouri recorded 2-1 win over No. 4 North Carolina on Aug. 15. Senior Taylor Grant and sophomore Rachel Hignett scored for the Tigers.
- Redshirt freshman Jessica Herrman will make her Missouri debut this season, two years after joining the Tigers. Herrman suffered season-ending injuries in 2012 and 2013 that kept her off the field, but the Raytown, Mo., native will finally suit up for Mizzou in 2014.

Syracuse Orange Preview

2013 Schedule/Record: 7-11-1

Coach: Phil Wheddon

After helping the U.S. team claim its second consecutive Olympic gold medal, Wheddon made his debut on the Syracuse sidelines in the Orange’s contest against William & Mary. In his first season at the helm, Wheddon concentrated on creating a positive learning environment, both on and off the field, for the players. In addition, he installed a new system, which stressed maintaining possession. His methods are proving to be effective. In 2008, Syracuse won five games at the SU Soccer Stadium, its most home victories since the 2004 season. The Orange put together a string of more than 300 minutes without allowing a goal, which included four straight shutouts. It marked the first time Syracuse shut out four consecutive opponents since the 1996 season, the program’s inaugural campaign.

Wheddon led the Orange to its best start in 10 years in 2013. He guided Syracuse through its first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which is recognized as the strongest women's soccer conference in the country. The ACC sent three teams to the national semifinals in 2013.

Players to watch out for

Stephanie Skilton (Forward)

2013 Stats: 9 goals, 19 total points, 66% SOG (Shots on Goal)

Erin Simon (Forward)

2013 Stats: 5 goals, 4 assists, 14 total points

Jackie Firenze (Midfielder)

2013 Stats: 2 goals, 3 assists, 7 total points

Prediction

Missouri did knock off No. 4 North Carolina last week in Chapel Hill in an exhibition match, but this showed that the Tigers have a lot to work on defensively before the season kicked off. The Tar Heels outshot Mizzou 14-5 and came close to breaking the game open if not for some impressive goalkeeping performances from both McKenzie Sauerwein and Kristen Rivers. The Orange are definitely a different team than UNC, but are very solid on the attacking front of the ball. During Cuse's exhibition match with Binghampton last week, the Orange showed a few lapses on defense late that allowed the Bearcats to pull close. I think the Tigers will be able to create more opportunities and pressure the Syracuse defense early to their first win of the 2014 season. Missouri 1, Syracuse 0