Seniors Help Lead Rebels Past Bulldogs In Road Victory
ATHENS, Ga. – In a physical Sunday match, the seniors stepped up big for the Rebels as No. 25 Ole Miss (10-3-1, 3-2-0 SEC) rallied to defeat No. 20 Georgia (9-4-0, 2-3-0 SEC) by a score of 3-1.
After falling behind in the first three minutes, the Rebels fought back for the win on a pair of goals from senior Rafaelle Souza and a goal from senior Mandy McCalla to grab the win. It’s the first for the Rebels over the Bulldogs since the 2009 season in a game also played in Athens.
Senior Erin Emerson also got in on the action, delivering the assist on the ball to McCalla for the game-winner.
Ole Miss out-shot the Bulldogs 24-to-12 for the game as the Rebel offense kept the pressure on for much of the contest.
“It was just an awesome performance from our players,” “We went down early, but the fight and character of this team is awesome. To fight back and pick up a 3-1 win and really close things out is huge. It’s a quality win on the road and gives us three more points in the standings. It’s so hard to win on the road in this league and our guys just really wanted this and gutted it out for 90 minutes.”
Georgia took the early lead when the Bulldogs intercepted a clear from the Rebel defense and served it in behind the Rebel back line where Marion Crowder gathered the ball and beat the Ole Miss keeper one on one to take the lead in the third minute.
Souza tied the game for the Rebels in the 20th minute when a handball was called on Georgia right outside the penalty box on the near side, roughly a yard from the end line. Souza lined up the free kick and bent it into the goal, tying the game at 1-1 and notching her 12th goal of the season.
At the half, the Rebels and Bulldogs were tied despite Ole Miss holding a 16-to-6 advantage in shots and a 4-to-2 advantage in corner kicks.
The Rebels took the lead in the 52nd minute when McCalla took a corner from Emerson in the box and headed it into the goal. Emerson delivered a perfect service from the corner on the far side to set up the McCalla goal, her 10th of the season.
Ole Miss took the lead out to 3-1 in the 81st minute when Souza notched her second goal of the afternoon. The Rebels won the ball on a challenge and took off down the far side of the field before Jennifer Miller would dribble to the middle and send it over to Souza just outside the box on the near side. The senior then dribbled into the box and put the ball into the net to extend the lead to two goals.
The Rebels would defend well down the stretch, keeping Georgia off the board in the final nine minutes to grab the 3-1 road win.
Ole Miss will return to action with a single match next weekend, hosting the Vanderbilt Commodores at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
— Ole Miss Sports Information