By Adam Brown
No. 12 Ole Miss soccer returns to the pitch on Thursday, traveling to Murfreesboro, Tenn., in the first road test of the season. The first kick is set for 6 p.m.
Coach Matt Mott’s squad is off to a 2-0 start on the season after defeating Southeastern 5-0 (Thursday) and a huge victory over No. 22 Memphis in the annual derby 3-0 on Sunday.
The eight goals that the Rebels have scored have been placed in the net by eight different players Mo O’Connor, Ramsey Davis, Marykate McGuire, Sydney Michalak, Aubrey Mister, Lauren Montgomery, Brenlin Mullaney and Molly Thompson.
Ashley Orkus is one of 24 goalkeepers across the country with a pair of shutouts this season. Orkus’s 20 career clean sheets are the third most all-time at Ole Miss.
Middle Tennessee rolls into the match with a 0-1-0 record, dropping the season opener to North Florida last Friday and having Sunday’s match against Jacksonville canceled due to weather. Middle Tennessee finished the 2021 season with a 9-8-2 record, including 5-3-0 in C-USA play.
Middle Tennessee is looking to replace the production of C-USA all-time leading goal scorer Peyton DePriest, a four-time United Soccer Coaches All-Region honoree who finished her career with 58 career goals and 117 points. Leading returning goal scorer Kirstine Lykke will look to fill the void, bagging five goals in 2021.
Starting goalkeeper Hannah Suder is back between the posts, posting 1.28 goals against average last season with a .769 save percentage. Suder surrendered one goal in the loss to North Florida.
Ole Miss has dominated the all-time series with Middle Tennessee, winning seven of the eight previous matchups, with the lone defeat coming in Murfreesboro in 2008. The Rebels have won four straight matchups in the series, including a 4-2 victory over the Blue Raiders in Oxford a season ago.
Last season, the Rebels opened the 2021 campaign with a 4-2 victory over Middle Tennessee.