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Ole Miss Soccer Blanks LSU 2-0 Sunday Evening

Photo by Samantha Mitchell
Photo by Samantha Mitchell

The Ole Miss soccer team capped off a perfect weekend of consecutive conference wins after defeating LSU in a 2-0 shutout Sunday evening. With the victory, the Rebels (8-2-2, 2-2-0 SEC) increased their winning streak to three games and became the first team to keep the Tigers (7-3-2, 1-3-0 SEC) off the scoreboard this season.

It was an all-around dominating performance for the Rebels, and it started with the offensive attack. Ole Miss out-shot LSU 21-7 and held a 13-2 advantage in corner kicks. Gretchen Harknett scored in the 17th minute and Addie Forbus added an insurance goal, her eighth of the season, to keep the Tigers out of striking distance.

The backline also had a great performance as LSU was not able to score a goal. Tonight’s shutout marked the fourth of the season for the Ole Miss defense, and the third individual clean sheet for redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Marnie Merritt. Merritt made a total of five saves, with three of them occurring in the second half. The shutout also marked the first time LSU has been left scoreless on the season.

“I think that was one of the better matches we have played all year,” said head coach Matthew Mott. “I thought we looked good from kickoff until the last minute. We were able to control the pace of the play. I am surely happy with this win. That is a great LSU team. I think Coach Brian Lee is one of the best, if not the best, coaches in our league.”

During the first half, Ole Miss earned five corner kicks during the first 10 minutes, and the Rebels outshot LSU 9-1, alluding to the impressive offense throughout the night.

“CeCe Kizer and Addie Forbus are really dangerous in the front together. I thought Jessica HiskeyLiza HarbinMaddie FriedmannDanielle Gray and Melissa Capoccacia did a great job for us in the back, as well,” noted Coach Mott. “Marnie Merritt was also very good and steady for us in the goal. It is a total team defending effort. To keep them off of the board was really an accomplishment.”

Ole Miss came out onto the pitch looking for the offensive attack. The Rebels pressed the LSU defense until they were able to convert for a score by Harknett. During the 17th minute, Liza Harbin had a great run down the midfield before sending the assist to Harknett. Harknett then ripped a shot from the top of the 18-yard box into the upper left corner of the net and away from LSU goalkeeper Catalina Rubiano to give Ole Miss the early lead.

The relentless Rebel attack continued during the second half. Just two minutes into the bottom half of the match, Harknett took a nice turn and shot from the top of the box, but her effort was just high and wide of the frame. The Tigers continued trying to level the score and in the 64th minute, SEC leading scorer Jorian Baucom had a great header on target, but Merritt’s brilliant save kept LSU off the board.

Forbus took the reins and helped extend the Rebel lead to a pair of goals. At the 68-minute mark, the junior forward juked an LSU defender and sent a shot that barely missed over the crossbar. One minute later, Forbus went back for another try and found the left side of the net from 20 yards out.

Ole Miss held onto the 2-0 lead for the remainder of the match to tally the second conference win of the weekend. The Rebels will be back to practice this week to prepare for more SEC play against Missouri.

“Missouri is a really tough team. There are no easy teams to play against in this conference. Everyone is beating everyone. It is going to be a wild ride as we finish conference play,” said Coach Mott.

The Rebels will be back to the pitch on Friday night at 7 p.m. as they travel to conference foe Missouri. Fans can tune into the action on SEC Network+.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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