The Missouri State women’s soccer team hosted the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Soccer Championship this past weekend.
Even though the Bears played host, they were unable to make it to the championship on Sunday after losing 4-3 to Illinois State on Friday in overtime.
There was no shortage of offense in this match as seven goals and 26 shots were tallied between the two teams, which was quite the opposite of the teams’ previous matchup that ended 1-0 in favor of ISU.
Despite ending the season in heartbreaking fashion, Bears head coach Rob Brewer said he was happy with how his team played.
“I’m so proud of what they did today,” Brewer said. “They could’ve given up at 2-0, they could’ve given up at 3-1, but they just kept finding ways to get back in the game.”
ISU moved on to play Loyola in the final round but lost 2-0, giving Loyola back-to-back MVC Tournament Championships.
The Bears ended the season with an overall record of 11-5-2 and a conference record of 4-2-1, landing them at third in the MVC.
MSU had one of its most successful seasons in recent years, recording its most wins since 2011 and their highest finish in the Valley since 2017 where they finished second.
MSU played well at the beginning of the season, racking up a 5-1-1 record through its first seven games of the season and dominating its nonconference opponents.
The key to the Bears’ success was their defense, giving up only six goals during those first seven games.
With reigning MVC Goalkeeper of the Year Kaitlin Maxwell in the net and preseason first-team defender senior Brittney Robinson on the backline, the Bears were nearly impossible to score on.
They held several teams scoreless at the beginning of the season and had a great defensive showing against UMKC and Tulsa. MSU tied UMKC 0-0 and beat Tulsa 5-1.
After finishing their nonconference schedule, the Bears faced tough opponents to start their conference games.
MSU picked up two wins against Valparaiso and Drake but dropped a game to Loyola and tied Evansville, giving them a 2-1-1 record in conference play.
In its next three conference games, MSU went 2-1, beating Northern Iowa and Indiana State but losing that 1-0 game to Illinois State.
The Bears still finished third in the conference.
Along with their best record in eight years, the Bears had seven players selected to all-conference teams and one award winner.
Senior forward Ashley Coonfield was joined on the all-conference first team by redshirt sophomore forward Anna Durnin and Maxwell. Maxwell also won her second consecutive goalkeeper of the year award.
Junior forward Jordan Eickelman was the lone Bear on the all-conference second team, and senior defender Olina Einarsdottir was on the all-conference honorable mention team.
Freshman midfielder Jade Loftness and freshman forward Unnur Bergsdottir were both selected to the all-freshman team as well.