By Ramsey Davis / Journalism Student
For the ninth time in program history, the Ole Miss women’s soccer team Monday was selected to compete in the 2020-21 NCAA tournament.
Twenty-three female athletes sat anxiously in their seats at the Pavillion waiting for news. Three minutes into the NCAA tournament selection, the Rebels cheered when they heard their name announced. They will play Bowling Green in the first round on April 27 in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The team did not have the opportunity to play last year because of a defeat at South Alabama, but now they have something to fight for in this year’s tournament.
With an overall 10-5 season and an undefeated spring season, the team has high hopes.
“I mean we have put ourselves in a really good spot. Halfway through the fall, I didn’t think we would be where we are now. We have done everything we can,” said Coach Matt Mott after an evening practice last week.
“If you’re a praying person, say your prayers tonight.”
With the fall season coming to an unexpected halt after the loss to LSU in the SEC tournament, the Rebels regained their confidence and flattened the competition in the spring season.
The Rebels’ closest wins came as 1-0 against Samford and Arkansas State. In every other game, the team put three goals in the back of the net.
Mott noted how “this is the most physical squad they have had in the program.” The determination to compete through Covid-19 restrictions has shown strong on and off the pitch.
With a total of 136 fouls on the season for the Rebels, their physicality pulled through to gain a 3-1 win against Memphis on a rainy Monday night.
A first-round win would put Ole Miss against eighth-ranked Southern California in the second round.
“Congratulations, girls. A well-deserved invitation to the big dance,” Rob Thompson, assistant coach, said after the celebration.