The University of Northern Iowa women’s soccer team started their Missouri Valley Conference play on Saturday. The Panthers fell to the Missouri State Lady Bears, 2-1.
Missouri State came out swinging as they attempted four shots within the first 20 minutes, but all missed. The Lady Bears had three more chances to score. One went wide and the other two were saved by goalkeeper Whitney Blunt. Blunt finished the match with six saves.
Maddie Welch attempted the only shot of the half for the Panthers in the 42nd minute, but it went high off target.
The first half ended with a blank scoreboard.
Missouri State’s Alix Opfer scored the match’s first goal within two minutes of the second half. The Lady Bears had another chance to score five minutes later, but Blunt made another save to keep the match manageable.
Annie Dale made an attempt in the 62nd minute but the shot went high off target.
Brook Zimmerman scored again for the Lady Bears in the 68th minute to increase the lead 2-0.
Marianna Gagne broke the scoreless spell for the Panthers with her first goal of the season. The goal brought the Panthers back in the match down, 2-1.
Allison Bitter had a chance to tie the match with a shot attempt a minute later, but it was wide off target.
Missouri State had two shot attempts within the next five minutes, but Blunt saved them both to prevent a bigger deficit.
The Panthers were not able to get another shot attempt the rest of the game as the match ended with the 2-1 loss.
The Panthers will come back home this Saturday to play Evansville in the annual Kick Cancer Pink Game.