Returning virtually the entire roster from last season’s talented squad, five Ole Miss soccer players have been named to the SEC Preseason Watchlist, announced by the conference office.
Channing Foster, Molly Martin, Sydney Michalak, Ashley Orkus and Haleigh Stackpole all appeared on the watchlist for the second straight year after one of the best seasons in program history.
For Foster, it is her fourth straight season on the watchlist. The fifth-year senior is back in Oxford after earning the first All-American honor of her career and helping lead the Rebels to the Sweet 16 in last season’s NCAA Tournament. The four-time All-SEC standout is the Southeastern Conference’s active leading scorer with 35 career goals.
Another fifth-year senior, Martin returns as one of the most experienced midfielders in the Southeastern Conference. The Memphis, Tennessee, native is also a scoring threat, finding the back of the net three times last season. A stalwart in the starting XI, she has cracked the lineup in 43 straight matches in a Rebel kit.
Michalak is another mainstay in the Rebel lineup. The defender was one of three players to be on the pitch every second of last season for Ole Miss. Her speed on the backline helped Ole Miss secure seven clean sheets and post an undefeated record in the spring.
Coming off one of the best seasons of her career, Orkus finds her name among those to watch in 2021. The Vestavia Hills, Alabama, native picked up the conference and national honors last season, including All-America status and SEC Goalkeeper of the Year. A year ago, she led the conference with 85 saves and seven clean sheets, while registering a 0.825 save percentage.
Stackpole rounds out the experienced Ole Miss group, being named to the preseason watchlist for the third time in four seasons. She’s proved herself as a true offensive threat, possessing the ability to score with both feet and connect passes to others inside the attacking third. Last season, Stackpole let the team with 16 points, scoring four times and dishing out eight assists.
Ole Miss kicks off the regular season on Thursday, hosting ETSU at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium at 6 p.m. CT. Admission to all regular-season home matches is free to the public, with capacity restored to 100% for the 2021 campaign.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports