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Ole Miss Soccer Battles No. 1 Stanford for Sweet 16 Spot

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

In the 55-minute against Clemson, Ole Miss’ Grace Johnson put the game away with a kick into the net, 2-1. Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics.

The Ole Miss Rebels soccer team returns to action this evening as they take the pitch against the No. 1 Stanford Cardinals in the second round of the NCAA tournament. First kick is slated for 9 p.m. CT.

Ole Miss advanced after they defeated No. 25 Clemson 2-1 in the first round of the tournament. The Rebels took an early lead in the match off the boot of senior Mary Kate Smith in the 24-minute set up by senior CeCe Kizer.

Head Coach Matt Mott’s club took a 1-0 advantage in the second half when Clemson made a quick rally to tie the game. In the 55-minute, Ole Miss’ Grace Johnson put the game away with a kick into the net.

“Our team came out playing some of the best soccer this season in the second half,” Mott said.

Stanford comes into Friday’s contest riding a 42-match unbeaten streak, going 18-0-2 so far in 2018, including 10-0-1 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium in Stanford.

“They are a fantastic team, solid everywhere with great attacker’s, forwards and some of the best defenders,” Mott said.

The top-ranked Cardinals pose a tough task for the Rebels, ranking second in the nation in scoring offense at 2.70 goals per game while posting the NCAA’s third-lowest goals against average of 0.435.

The Stanford lineup finds scoring in many places, with the Cardinal’s 54 goals this season coming from 18 different players. Despite only appearing in 15 of Stanford’s 20 matches, and making just nine starts, sophomore forward Catarina Macario leads the team with 12 goals, adding six assists for 30 total points. Senior midfielder Jordan DiBiasi isn’t far behind with nine goals and a team-best eight assists. Forwards Sophia Smith and Civana Kuhlmann have contributed seven and five scores, respectively.

Senior keeper Alison Jahansouz has seen the bulk of the action, making 16 starts on the year. Jahansouz has allowed just seven goals on the season for a 0.44 goals against average, making 40 saves for a 0.851 save percentage. Junior Lauren Rood has seen spot duty, making five appearances and four starts. Rood has made the most of her opportunities, registering a 0.43 GAA with a 0.846 save percentage.

“We are going to have to be at our best, and we are going to go out there giving it our best for 90 minutes,” Mott said.

Tonight’s match will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams. It will also be Ole Miss’ first time playing the No. 1 team since taking on Florida State in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Fans can watch all the action of this match on goStanford.com.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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