By Adam Brown
Ole Miss soccer returns to the pitch today to open the 2022 slate, taking on the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions. The first kick is set for 6 p.m.and can be seen on SEC Network+.
Ole Miss looks to continue the success from last season when the team finished with a 12-6-3 overall record and a 6-3-1 mark in SEC play.
The Rebels are coming off a season in which they finished in a tie for third place in the SEC table, garnering the second spot in the SEC West.
This season, head coach Matt Mott and his staff have four players – Sydney Michalak, Ashley Orkus, Mo O’Connor and Taylor Radecki – on the SEC Preseason watch list.
Rebel striker O’Connor has stepped up her game to another level. Of O’Connor’s 13 career goals, eight have come against conference opposition, including five of seven goals in 2021. O’Connor’s five goals in league play last season were tied for the most in the conference.
Southeastern will open a new era under first-year head coach Nathan Gillespie. SLU returns 18 letter winners from last year from the team that advanced to the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament.
The top two scorers, Mya Gullory and Makenzie Maher, each posted five goals and one assist in 2021.
The Lions dropped a 4-0 decision in an exhibition match on Sunday.
The Rebels and Lions have met twice previously, but not since the infancy of both programs in 1996 and 1998. The Rebels won both matchups in Oxford, defeating Southeastern 2-1 in 1996 and upending the Lions 1-0 in overtime in 1998.