By Adam Brown
No. 16 Ole Miss soccer closes out the regular season on Thursday night as they take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the Magnolia Cup. The match is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network.
Ole Miss (11-3-3, 6-2-1 SEC) is coming off of a 2-2 draw with No. 19 Auburn Sunday afternoon at home. Senior Molly Martin scored her team-high ninth goal of the season to give the Rebels a brief lead, while Haleigh Stackpole buried the equalizer for her fifth goal of the year.
The draw against the Tigers gave Ole Miss a point an the Rebels currently sit third in the SEC table with 19 points.
Mississippi State sits at 4-8-3 on the season, including 2-6-1 in league play. All four of the Bulldogs’ wins have come in Starkville, posting a 4-3-0 home record. MSU is coming off of a 2-0 road loss to SEC regular season champion Arkansas on Sunday after defeating Texas A&M 2-1 in Starkville on Thursday.
Five different players are tied for the team lead with two goals this season, with junior Onyi Echegini leading the pack with four assists for eight total points. Despite making just seven starts, senior Hailey Farrington-Bentil ranks second on the team with seven points on two goals and three assists.
Sophomore Maddy Anderson has seen all the action in goal for the Bulldogs, recording a 1.09 goals against average and a .788 save percentage on 63 saves, posting four clean sheets.
Coach Matt Mott and the Rebels look to regain the Magnolia Cup after last season’s 1-0 loss to the Bulldogs in Oxford.
Ole Miss owns a commanding 15-7-5 lead in the all-time series with Mississippi State, winning five of the last eight matchups with the Bulldogs. However, Mississippi State came out on top in the most recent meeting, claiming the Magnolia Cup for the first time in seven years. The Rebels are 5-3-3 all-time in Starkville, last earning a win at the MSU Soccer Field in 2014.