Sunday, January 23, 2022

Ole Miss Soccer Season Comes to an Early End

By Catherine Jeffers

The Daily Mississippian

Photo by HG Biggs.

The Ole Miss Women’s Soccer season came to a close in a heartbreaking first round loss in the NCAA Championship on Friday, Nov. 12. An 89th minute goal from Saint Louis sealed the Billikens a huge 2-1 upset against the Rebels at home. 

The Billikens got on the board first in the 23rd minute, getting behind the Rebel defenders and slotting the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Ashley Orkus. 

Without batting an eye, the Rebels found the equalizer from the restart as Mo O’Connor dribbled through multiple Billikens and found the top of the net. 

A tight battle ensued for the remainder of the game until Hannah Friedrich hit the game winner in the 89th minute for the Billikens, ending the Rebels’ season prematurely. 

The loss brings Molly Martin and Channing Foster to the end of their dominant Ole Miss soccer careers. The two fifth-year seniors accounted for 63 goals and 25 assists over their tenure at Ole Miss. 

The Rebels finished their 2021 season 12-6-3 overall and 6-3-1 in SEC play, finishing third in the regular season. The Rebels shocked the soccer world, defeating then undefeated No. 5 LSU 2-0 at home as well as their first ever victory in Gainesville, defeating University of Florida 1-0. 

Rebel Nation had their eye on Ole Miss soccer to try and make a deep run into the tournament, similar to their dominant NCAA Championship showing in the spring of 2020. They defeated Bowling Green and University of Southern California in back-to-back games in penalty kicks before falling to Duke in the Sweet 16 1-0. 

“Heartbroken for our team but what a ride. 15 months, 40 games, 2 NCAA bids, a Sweet 16, and a third place finish in the SEC. I couldn’t ask for any more from this team. You guys gave us everything you had for all of it,” Head Coach Matt Mott tweeted following the Rebel loss. 

Ole Miss Soccer will return to the pitch in 2022 for Matt Mott’s 12th season as the Rebel head coach. Mott brought in a dominant signing class of six new Rebels on National Signing Day, including Oxford native Grace Freeman. 

Rebel great Channing Foster will head to Chicago where she was drafted to the Red Stars as the 32nd overall pick.


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