By Adam Brown
No. 9 Ole Miss soccer returns to the pitch on Thursday, playing host to Western Kentucky University. The first kick is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network+.
Ole Miss (5-0-1) is off to its best six-game start to a season since 2017. Last week, the Rebels shut out Louisiana Tech 5-0 and allowed a single goal to Central Florida in a 2-1 victory.
Senior goalie Ashley Orkus has had five clean game sheets to open the season until the UCF match, but only allowed a ball to get into the net.
“Ashley Orkus has made a save every game that’s either kept us in the lead or clean sheet,” head coach Matt Mott said. “She has been phenomenal; she’s playing lights out.”
Ole Miss is at 3.17 goals per game which is the nation’s 15th-ranked scoring offense. The Rebels also rank seventh in total points with 60.
Western Kentucky rolls into town with a 2-2-2 overall record after defeating Union (Tenn.) and Kentucky. WKU has struggled on the road going 0-2-1 and scoring just one goal.
Western Kentucky spread the love when it comes to scoring goals this season. Seven different players have scored, each with one goal scored. Defender Aspen Davis and forwards Kayla Meyer and Lily Rummo have a goal scored and an assist. The offense as a whole has a shot on goal percentage of 41.7%. The Lady Toppers outscore their opponents 4-1 in the first half, however in the second half they scored three goals and allowed three goals.
Redshirt fifth year senior Alexis Bach has played inall six games, accumulating 495 minutes played. Bach has allowed four goals and tallied two shutouts in both wins. She is tied the C-USA lead in save percentage at 72.7 % and shutouts.
Ole Miss leads the all-time series 3-1-1 over Western Kentucky. The two teams played in 2021 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Ole Miss came away with the 1-0 victory, scoring the only goal in the first half. The Rebels have won the last 3 matches in 2018, 2019 and 2021.