By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss soccer team heads into their final match of the regular season on Thursday as they take the pitch against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Ole Miss head coach Matt Mott met with the media on Monday following a 2-2 draw against the No. 19 Auburn Tigers on Sunday.
“We played a really good Auburn team. At the start of the day, Auburn was 13 in the RPI, we were 10, so it was a big RPI game,” Mott said. “We were 13th in the country, they were 19th, so it was a Top-25 matchup. It lived up to it. It was a great game. If you look at the last three years we beat them in overtime, last year, they beat us in overtime and now we’ve drawn. Really not much to pick between the two teams, just a really hard-fought match.”
The Rebels and Bulldogs renew their rivalry for the Magnolia Cup prior to going the SEC soccer Tournament at Orange Bench, Alabama.
“Now we turn our attention to Mississippi State, which is the biggest game of the season for us. We’re playing for the Magnolia Cup and the last game of the season,” Mott said. “They’re fighting to get to The Beach, so they have a ton to play for as do we, as we are trying to ensure our spot in the NCAA Tournament and get that No. 3 seed down at The Beach.”
Mott added that the Rebels look to get the Magnolia Cup back in Oxford.
This season, Ole Miss is at 11-3-3 overall and 6-2-1 in conference play look to make it back to the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s hard to say because you never want to say you’re in. But our RPI is 10, we have good top-50 wins and a top-25 draw with Auburn,” Mott said. “We have really no bad losses and currently have one of the top-10 strengths of schedule. So, we look pretty solid I think to the committee. Now we certainly don’t want to go 0-2 in our last two games as we play State and our first round at The Beach, but I feel good about where the team is and what they’ve done all season to get us to this point.”
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will take the pitch on Thursday at 7 p.m. and will be on SEC Network.