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Rebels and Bulldogs Renew Magnolia Cup on the Pitch Tonight

Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

Sophomore goal keeper Ashley Orkus. Photo by Hannah Johnson.

The Ole Miss soccer team returns to the pitch this evening as they travel down to Starkville, Mississippi to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the annual Magnolia Cup rivalry. First kick is set for 6 p.m. on SEC Network.

“I think we are going to have our hands full,” head coach Matt Mott said. “It’s always difficult to play down there. We’ve certainly struggled in my time here, when we go down there. We’ve got to be ready.”

Ole Miss (6-2, 0-0-1 SEC) rolls into this match after a 1-1 tie against the Missouri Tigers at home last Friday night. The Rebels dominated the offensive stats in the match, outshooting Missouri 29-18, including 13-6 in shots on goal. Ole Miss hit the woodwork seven times in the game.

Ole Miss’ Ashley Orkus ranks second in the SEC with 44 total saves this season. The sophomore keeper’s .786 save percentage is good for ninth in the conference.

“We’re going to need big time play out of our goalkeeping in Ashley, and the backline and midfield,” Mott said.

Junior Channing Foster is tied for second in the conference in scoring with a team-high six goals on the season. She also leads the league and ranks fifth in the nation with 5.33 shots per game.

Mississippi State (5-4, 0-1 SEC) dropped their first SEC match of the season 3-0 at home to Texas A&M last week. Of MSU’s four losses, three have come from teams ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, while Boston College appears in the receiving votes section. In all other contests, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 11-1.

“(The Bulldogs) are a good looking team, style-wise,” Mott said.”They have some dangerous players. I think we are going to have our hands full on Thursday night. It’s always difficult to play down there.”

Mississippi State is led in scoring by senior forward MaKayla Waldner, who has buried five goals on the season despite going through a short drought of with no scores in her last four matches. Waldner has scored 26 times in her career and has led the Bulldogs in two of the past three seasons. Sophomore forward Monigo Karnley is the only other Bulldog with multiple goals, finding the back of the net twice. Karnley also paces MSU with three assists in 2019. MSU has used two players in goal, with senior Gabby English carrying the majority of the load with eight starts. English has made 27 saves for a .730 save percentage, posting a 1.39 GAA. Freshman Katie Moore has played in two matches, including one start, allowing two goals in 160:31.

The Rebels hold a sizeable lead in the all-time series with their most heated in-state rival, winning 14 of the 25 all-time meetings with a 14-6-3 record. The series has been all Ole Miss as of late with the Rebels putting together a five-match undefeated streak, including four wins. The Rebs have been the victor in nine of the previous 12 meetings and 11 of the past 17. Ole Miss is 5-3-2 all-time in Starkville and 1-2-1 during the Matt Mott era.

Fans can watch all the action of the Magnolia Cup on the SEC Network at 6 p.m.


Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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