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Ole Miss Soccer Opens NCAA Tournament at No. 25 Clemson

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss forward CeCe Kizer earned a spot on the First Team All-SEC for the third time in her career. Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics.

The Ole Miss soccer team opens the 2018 NCAA Tournament at No. 25 Clemson. First kick is slated for 5 p.m. and can be seen on the watch ESPN app.

Ole Miss finished the regular season strong with back-to-back key wins over ranked opponents to then No. 25 Mississippi State and No. 7 Vanderbilt at home. The Rebels earned a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament where they lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Coach Matt Mott’s squad had three players named to the All-SEC teams. CeCe Kizer earned a spot on the first team for the third time in her career, while Channing Foster landed on the second team. Haleigh Stackpole rounded out Ole Miss’ honorees, being tabbed SEC All-Freshman.

Kizer finished the regular season as the SEC leader in goals (13), assists (8) and points (34). Kizer is the second player since 2005 to lead the conference in both goals and assists during the regular season. She ranks fifth in the nation in points, 11th in goals and 22nd in assists.

The Tigers enter Saturday’s first round matchup with a 12-8 overall record, finishing tied for fifth in the ACC at 6-4. Clemson garnered a 5-4 record this season when playing at home at Historic Riggs Field.

The Tigers boast two of the ACC’s top-10 scorers in sophomore forward Mariana Speckmaier and senior forward Miranda Weslake, who have accounted for 18 of Clemson’s 32 goals this season. Speckmaier is tied for second in the league with 10 goals, while Weslake’s eight tallies are good for a tie for ninth. Senior defender Sam Staab has set up over a third of CU’s scores with 11 assists on the year, second most in the ACC.

Junior Sandy MacIver has been the primary keeper this season for the Tigers, appearing in 16 of 20 matches. MacIver has surrendered 13 goals on the year for 0.80 goals against average, posting eight clean sheets and 48 saves for a .787 save percentage. Sophomore Maddie Weber has seen action in four matches, allowing four goals for a 1.00 GAA with a .714 save percentage on 10 stops.

Ole Miss and Clemson have previously met once on the pitch when the Rebels advanced to its first-ever Sweet 16 in 2016. The match was decided on penalty kicks and ended as a tie.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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