By Greg Dailey, KBIA Sports
The rainy afternoon clouds cleared away, but left the turf soaked for kickoff at Walton Stadium, where Missouri squared off against Northwestern on Friday. It would be the only aspect of Friday night’s 0-0 match that was on time.
The skies were only merciful for a short while, as rain and lightning delayed the game. Both teams resumed after an hour-long suspension. The Tigers and Wildcats settled for a draw after no scoring in regulation and two overtimes. The Tigers are now 2-1-2 for the season and Northwestern is 3-1-1.
Inclement weather had been in the area most of the night, but lightning finally forced the teams off the pitch with 26:51 left in the second half.
Missouri pressed Northwestern early and in the first minute, senior midfielder Kaysie Clark rifled a shot on goal. Moments later, Erin Webb had another look shied away, as Wildcat keeper Lauren Clem stood tall throughout the contest.
The Tigers had plenty of opportunities in the first half to score. Clem almost allowed a goal in the 18th minute after she let what looked to be an easy save off a shot from Clark roll by her towards the net. She was forced to dive and saved the ball right on the goal line. The side judge ruled the ball had not completely crossed the line and Northwestern kept the Tigers off the scoreboard.
The Wildcats had their first threat on the Missouri goal in the 25th minute. However, a free kick dropped untouched into the arms of Tiger keeper McKenzie Sauerwein. Moments later, another free kick sailed over the Missouri crossbar. The Wildcats wouldn’t threaten again until the end of the half.
Missouri seemed to apply more pressure after Northwestern made a push, but the Tigers could not get a decent look from inside the box. Webb fired a shot from 30 yards away that went wide right in the 29th minute.
Northwestern had a breakaway at the end of the half, but an errant Wildcat strike from the top of the box went wide. Mizzou outshot Northwestern 6-2 in the first 45 minutes, but the teams entered the break in a scoreless draw.
The officials decided to try and fit the game before the approaching storm and started the second half. Sensing the weather might cut the game short, Northwestern came out of the locker room much like the Tigers did in the first half: on the attack. In the 47th minute, Northwestern fired two shots, but neither amounted to a goal.
The game got sloppy under the playing conditions and neither side mounted much of a threat in the final minutes of regulation. But the Tigers had their best opportunity in extra time.
A Northwestern defender took a Clark shot to the stomach in the 108th minute. The ball ricocheted to Savannah Trujillo, who put a shot on goal. The ball clanged off the post and so did Missouri’s chance of getting a result out of the match.
The final horn sounded and the Tigers and Wildcats walked off the pitch in a draw.
Missouri is schedule to take on Tennessee-Martin at 2 p.m. Central on Sunday at Walton Stadium.