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Ole Miss Soccer Returns to Action Today Against UCONN, FAU

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss Soccer defeats Murray State on August 26th, 2018 in Oxford, MS
CeCe Kizer, 5, F/MF, Overland Park, Kan.
Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics Instagram and Twitter: @OleMissPix

The Ole Miss soccer team travels to Fayetteville, Arkansas today for a pair of non-conference matchups against the UCONN Huskies and the FAU Owls. The Rebels will take the pitch against the Huskies this afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

Ole Miss (5-1) is coming off of a 2-0 trip down to Mobile, Alabama as they defeated Troy and the host school South Alabama. The Rebels continue to be one of the SEC’s most offensive forces. Coach Matt Mott’s club leads the conference in goals per game (3.50) and shots per game (21.50).

“I feel really good about where the team is,” Mott said. “We’re kind of rounding into form as we head into the last weekend before the conference starts.”

Senior CeCe Kizer is one of the premier offensive threats in the SEC as well as the nation. She leads the league in goals (7) and points (16).

UConn will come to Fayetteville with a 1-5 overall record, having lost three-straight matches to Boston College, Rutgers and Boston, respectively. In their six matches, the Huskies have been outscored 4-14. The offense has struggled recently for the Huskies, with UConn failing to score in any of their last three matches. UConn is averaging just over 10 shots per game, scoring on just 6.5 percent of its attempts. One area the Huskies have excelled at has been earning trips to the corner flag, taking 26 corners on the season.

The Huskies are led in scoring by sophomore midfielder Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky, who has scored a pair of goals on the season, including the team’s lone game-winner. Danyko-Kulchyscky has fired off nine shots, one off of Erin Spillane’s team-high. Spillane, a junior midfielder, and freshman forward Pato Jerzak have bagged the other two goals in 2018 for UConn. Sophomore Randi Palacios has started all six matches in goal, posting a 2.33 goals against average with 28 saves and a .683 save percentage.

“We’ve never played UConn and they’ll be a great test from them,” Mott said. “Traditionally, they are a great team. They’ve been to a number of Final Fours and they’re always very strong.”

On Sunday, Ole Miss will face off against FAU to close out the weekend.

FAU sits at 2-4 on the season, though two of their losses have come to ranked sides in Florida and Baylor. The Owls were victorious their last time out, defeating Niagara 3-2 in Boca Raton. Despite their record, the Owls have been nearly even with their opponents in goal production, scoring 11 and letting in 14 on the year. FAU averages just over 10 shots per game, recording a .172 shot percentage and placing exactly half of their attempts on frame. The Owls have proven to be an aggressive team, racking up 59 fouls so far this season.

The Owls are led in scoring by junior forward Tiril Haga, who has scored three times and chipped in an assist for a team-high seven points. senior midfielder Ebba Blomqvist is the only other Owl with multiple goals, scoring twice. Blomqvist was FAU’s lone selection to the Conference-USA Preseason Team. Though failing to score through six games, junior forward Pernille Velta has made her presence felt in other ways, leading FAU with three assists. Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Ocampo has been on the pitch for every second of action, garnering 2.36 goals against average with 28 saves and a 0.667 save percentage.

Ole Miss and FAU have met one previous time, with Ole Miss earning a 4-0 victory over the Owls in a match played in Boca Raton in 2009.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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