COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mississippi State wrapped the first half of a four-match, SEC road swing with a 2-0 setback to 16th-ranked Missouri on a chilly Sunday afternoon at Walton Stadium in Columbia.
The defeat dropped MSU to 7-7-1 overall and 0-7-1 in SEC play. Mizzou moved to 7-1 in the league and 12-2 overall.
"I was very proud of the way we fought for the full 90 minutes," Neil Macdonald said. "I thought our back line and midfield played really well, and we created some scoring opportunities that we just couldn't convert. Missouri was able to, though, and they came away with the win.
"I know the results haven't been going our way, but I really admire the way our team has continued to maintain a strong work ethic and compete together as a team," Macdonald said. "We have seen our young players improve each week, and we have to keep focused because we still have a chance to do some good things."
Missouri netted the winner in the 33rd-minute off a goal from Abi Raymer. The Tigers added the game's final goal off a Taiwo Adeshigbin unassisted shot in the 65th minute.
The Tigers out-shot the Bulldogs 36-11, but they managed to put just 13 of those attempts on frame. Mississippi State had six of its chances come on goal, with junior Elisabeth Sullivan tallying half of those.
Two days removed from a season-high 12 saves at Auburn, senior goalie Skylar Rosson was credited with 10 of State's 11 saves, including eight in the second half.
Mississippi State had a chance to seize the momentum off a corner kick in the match's opening minutes. Sullivan deflected Dana Forbes' serve toward the upper shelf, but a Missouri defender headed the ball away inches before the goal line.
Sophomore Amy Hoover connected on a header eight minutes later, but McKenzie Sauerwein made the first of her five saves to keep the match scoreless.
After Raymer put Missouri in front 1-0, MSU defenders Shannen Jainudeen and Morganne Grimes had equalizing attempts turned back by Sauerwein as the Tigers took the one-goal advantage to the half.
Rosson kept MSU a goal back with three big saves in the opening eight minutes of the second half, but she was unable to stop Adeshigbin's sixth goal of the season in the 65th minute, a shot from the right side of the Bulldog 18-yard box that hit the crossbar and deflected down and across the goal line.
State kept fighting and put together some late scoring chances, including an 86th-minute attempt by Sullivan that Sauwerwein manged to save.
Mississippi State wraps its road slate next weekend, venturing to Alabama on Friday and No. 18 Florida on Sunday.
Sunday's match against the Gators will be broadcast by Comcast Sports Southeast.Fans can follow Bulldog soccer on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstateSOC) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstateSOC).