Wednesday, November 30, 2022

No. 13 Ole Miss Soccer Welcomes in UT

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

No. 13 Ole Miss soccer returns to the pitch on Friday as they play host to Tennessee. The first kick is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network+.

Ole Miss is off to a fast start in conference action with an unblemished record in the league at 3-0 and 9-0-2 overall record.

Head coach Matt Mott has the Rebels off to its best 11 game start in school history, according to win percentage.

Last week, the Rebels shutout Florida and Auburn 1-0 in each match.

Senior goalie Ashley Orkus tallied her seventh and eighth shutouts this past week. The eight shutouts are a career season high. Orkus moved into second place on Ole Miss’ all-time saves and wins list with 282 saves and keeper wins with 41.

The Rebels rank first in the nation in goals against average of 0.273 and top-5 in shutout and save percentage.

Tennessee is off to a great start with a 6-3-1 record and 2-1 SEC record. Tennessee defeated Florida and Kentucky but dropped a game to No. 6 Alabama. The Lady Vols have taken on four ranked opponents, including, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Alabama and No. 24 Southern Methodist University. They will face another ranked team in Ole Miss on Friday.

The Tennessee offense is impressive, scoring a total of 33 goals in 10 games. The Lady Vols are ranked fifth in total goals and fourth in scoring offense. The offensive scoring is led by redshirt junior forward Jaida Thomas, compiling nine goals and two assists. Thomas has two braces in wins over Bowling Green and Kennesaw State. Sophomore Taylor Huff is responsible for three goals along with leading the team with five assists. As a whole, 12 players have at least one goal, eight have multiple and three have four or more.

The defense also contributes to offensive success. Defenders Maria Nelson and Hannah Zaluski each have three assists. Tennessee’s keeper Lindsey Romig has started the last eight games, compiling 28 saves and 1.35 goals against average.

Ole Miss is down in the all-time series against Tennessee, holding a 4-17-2 record when playing the Lady Vols. The Rebels and the Lady Vols met up last season in the SEC Tournament, No. 10 Tennessee came away with a narrow 3-2 victory. This meeting will be the first time in the last three matchups, the Rebels will play an unranked Lady Vols team.


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