By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss soccer team returns to the pitch this evening as they host in-state rival Mississippi State in the annual battle for the Magnolia Cup. First kick is set for 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
Ole Miss (1-1-0, 1-1-0SEC) is coming off of a 1-0 victory over the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge this past Sunday. Saydie Holland scored the lone goal of the match off of a Haleigh Stackpole corner kick delivery. It was the first goal of the sophomore’s career.
“In the 58th minute with Saydie Holland on a corner kick that she headed in,” head coach Matt Mott said. “Very, very good goal. Then we were able to see the game out really.”
Mississippi State (0-0-2, 0-0-2SEC) rolls into Oxford after draws with Auburn and Alabama in the first two weeks of the season.
“(Mississippi State) tied Auburn their first game, then tied Alabama too, two really good teams,” Mott said. “So, it’s going to be a tough battle as it always is.”
This season, the Bulldogs have scored once in both matches in 2020, with junior midfielder Niah Johnson finding the back of the net against the Tigers and junior forward Hailey Ferrington-Bentil scoring the dramatic equalizer against the Crimson Tide. Johnson was one of four players to be named to the SEC Preseason Watch List, joined by junior defender Miranda Carrasco, sophomore forward Onyi Echegini and junior midfielder/forward Andrew Tyrrell.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State have met up a total of 26 times in the 25-year history of their rivalry on the soccer pitch, with Ole Miss controlling the series with a 15-6-5 record all-time against the Bulldogs. The Rebels have been particularly successful in recent years in the series, losing just twice in the last 15 years while winning five of the last seven and 10 of the last 15 meetings. Ole Miss is 8-2-2 all-time against Mississippi State in Oxford, currently riding a six-game home winning streak against MSU.