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Rebels Face Florida State in NCAA Second Round

Ole Miss Soccer Field after the Rebels' 9-0 victory over Jackson State last Friday / Photo by Justin Taylor
Ole Miss Soccer Field after the Rebels’ 9-0 victory over Jackson State last Friday / Photo by Justin Taylor

OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel soccer team looks to continue to make history on Thursday night when No. 22 Ole Miss (16-5-2) faces off against No. 3 Florida State (19-1-3) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Seminole Soccer Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.

The match is set for a 6 p.m. CT start and fans can follow the action through live stats atwww.OleMissSports.com.

Ole Miss, which defeated Jackson State in the opening round of NCAA Touranment play last weekend, looks to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history with a win over the Seminoles. The winner of the Thursday night matchup between the Rebels and Seminoles will advance to face the winner of the day’s earlier matchup between BYU and Colorado.

A win over Florida State would continue a record setting season for the Rebels. Ole Miss already set the program record for wins in a season with the victory over Jackson State on Friday night and has several individual players who have been climbing up the career record list on the way to the successful campaign.

“I’m very familiar with facing Florida State in the NCAA tournament (from my time at Auburn and Texas),” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “They’ll be a good team. They’ll possess the ball really well. I think they’re the best‐coached team in the country. But, I’m happy with where our team is at this point in the season. We’ll go down there and be excited to play, and we’ll play as hard as we possibly can and try to get a result. We’re excited to still be playing and have this opportunity.”

Senior forwards Mandy McCalla and Rafaelle Souza are key cogs in the Rebel offense and have both worked their way into the top five on the career goals list at Ole Miss this season. Souza, who is tied for second in the nation in goals scored has 22 goals on the year and set the school record for goals with 44 in her career. McCalla, who has 15 goals on the season, is also among the top 25 goal scorers in the country this season and sits one goal away from third place on the all-time goal list in Rebel history.

It’s not all been at the foot of the dynamic senior duo, however, as the Rebels have secured goals from 10 different players this season as a part of a balanced offense that also features 10 different players with assists this year with the Rebels passing the ball around the field efficiently.

Three other Rebels have posted at least four goals this season to join McCalla and Souza on the front line with Olivia Harrison (7), Bethany Bunker (6), Addie Forbus (4) and Jennifer Miller (4) all chipping in on the attack.

Harrison and Bunker also lead the team in assists with eight and seven, respectively, while Erin Emerson, Addie Forbus, McCalla and Souza all have added six assists each this season.

The Rebels haven’t gotten it done solely with offense this year and junior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick and the Rebel back line have posted 10 shutout victories. Ole Miss gives up less than a goal a game this season and with the 10 shutouts, McCormick has been a part of 20 shutouts in her career. She is also the all-time winningest goalkeeper at Ole Miss with 34 victories in goal over her three years as a Rebel.

She helps direct a back line that has limited opponents to nine shots per game and has featured a heavy rotation of underclassmen with two sophomores and two freshmen starting defensively.

— Bill Bunting, Ole Miss Sports Information

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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