The Ole Miss soccer team returned to the pitch on Saturday night for an intrasquad scrimmage, with the Red Team edging the Gray Team 3-1.
Conditioning is typically one of the peak concerns for the squad in the early days of the season. However, according to Head Coach Matt Mott, thanks to diligent work from the Rebel players on their own time during quarantine, fitness is not a problem for the Ole Miss team.
“The team is very, very fit,” said head coach Matt Mott. “We’ve had a great early preseason for sure and they came back fit. We could have probably gone a little bit longer because fitness is so good. That kept the tempo really high on the night with players flying all over the place. That was really nice to see.”
Thanks to that high tempo, offensive action was on full display early on during the scrimmage, with Saydie Holland putting the Red Team ahead before Molly Martin struck back for the Gray Team to equalize. Shortly before the break, newcomer Taylor Radecki scored, giving the Red Team a 2-1 advantage at halftime. Lonnie Mulligan added a third for the team in red in the second half to bring the total to three.
Radecki’s goal highlighted a strong night from the Rebels’ group of six newcomers in action, with the Florida State transfer and her five freshman teammates adapting quickly to Ole Miss’ style of play.
“It was nice to see them out there,” said Mott. Taylor Radecki looked very good in midfield. Lucy Green did very, very well in the back. Price Loposer, Ramsey Davis, Sydney Ham and Abbie Rushwin did really well also. I was really happy with the whole group of them fitting in. Sitting up top it’s hard to tell who’s a freshman and who’s not and that’s a credit to them coming in and being ready, fit and playing at a really high level.”
While the competitive nature of the players ensured a high-energy battle back-and-forth, the primary focus for the team was being together within the comfy confines of the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium playing a game that can no longer be taken for granted.
“It felt so good,” said senior Channing Foster. “It’s just so exciting to get back on the pitch, it feels like it’s been forever since we played a game. I know it wasn’t a real game but to just getting to wear our uniforms and get back out here was awesome.”