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Missouri Downs Texas at Big 12 Soccer Championship
Courtesy: Big12Sports.com
          Release: 11/05/2008
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Crystal Wagner and the Missouri Tigers advanced to semifinal action at the Big 12 Soccer Championship with a 3-1 win over Texas.

By James Hill

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The third-seeded Missouri Tigers knocked off the defending tournament champion Texas Longhorns 3-1 Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Soccer Championship at Blossom Soccer Stadium.

Missouri (14-5-0), ranked No. 20 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, will take on the winner of second-seeded Texas A&M and No. 7 Kansas at 7:30 p.m. (CT) Friday in semifinal action.

The Tigers, who lost 4-1 to A&M in last year's semifinals, had a two-goal performance Wednesday by sophomore forward Alysha Bonnick. The All-Big 12 First Team player scored an unassisted goal in the 57th minute and then closed out the game with an assist from junior forward Michelle Collins at 83:17.

Last month, Texas handed Missouri one of its three regular-season Big 12 losses.

"We stayed strong and kept our heads up," said Bonnick, after Wednesday's win over the sixth-seeded Longhorns. "We didn't let them get to us and we were determined. We have more depth than last year. We could have only gotten better."

Bonnick, who scored her 10th and 11th goals of the season, took five shots, including three on goal. Collins accounted for two assists in the game, including the opening goal, in the 54th minute, by junior midfielder Bree Thornton.

The Longhorns (12-3-4), ranked 15th by the NSCAA, had a rally going from a 0-2 deficit. Freshman forward Courtney Goodson scored in the 64th minute, with an assist from junior defender Emily Anderson. Goodson, a member of the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team, registered her sixth goal of the season.

Missouri outshot Texas 20-12 and led 11-7 on goal. Missouri held a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.

Both coaches referred to the windy day at Blossom.

"The wind gave us trouble in the first half," said Missouri coach Bryan Blitz. "We had more energy when we knew we were going to win. We wanted this matchup. They are the class of the Big 12."

Texas coach Chris Petrucelli commented about lost chances.

"We had the win and had our opportunities," Petrucelli said. "We weren't able to take advantage of those opportunities."

Texas senior defender Kasey Moore, the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year, took three shots, with one on goal.

Missouri junior goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore accounted for six saves, playing the full 90 minutes. Texas senior Dianna Pfenninger, also a 90-minute player, had eight saves.

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