OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss defense pitched its second straight shutout, but the Rebels could not find the back of the net in a 0-0 tie with Western Kentucky Friday night at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
Ole Miss (1-0-1) held the advantage in shots by a 14-10 margin and in corner kicks by a 10-6 margin, but neither side could finish any of its opportunities in the double-overtime affair.
"We didn't come out in the first half and play with the level of intensity and passion that we needed to," said first-year Rebel coach Matthew Mott. "That hurt us. It put us on our heels a little bit. Give credit to Western Kentucky. They came out with a good gameplan. They're very well coached, and it was difficult for us to break them down."
Both teams found it difficult to overcome the opposing defenses in the first half and put together any dangerous attacks. They both managed four shots in the first period.
The possession and attacking opportunities swayed in the Rebels' favor in the second half. Perhaps their best chance came two minutes after halftime when senior midfielder Taylor Cunningham laced a rocket to the far post, but standout Lady Topper goalkeeper Libby Stout made a diving save.
The Rebels also strung together several corner kick opportunities midway through the second half, but failed to connect on any of the scrums in the box. Neither Ole Miss nor Western Kentucky (0-1-1) could do any scoring damage in the overtime periods.
"We came out a lot more intense in the second half and really went at them and had a couple of good chances," Mott said. "I thought we were going to get one there, but we just weren't able to. In the end, you have to score. If you don't score, you can't win."
Rebel keeper Alley Ronaldi posted her second straight shutout, making three saves. Stout got her first shutout of the season for the Lady Toppers and registered eight saves.
Dylan Jordan led Ole Miss with four shots, including a near miss in overtime, while Cunningham took three. Christen Sims was the top shot taker for WKU with three.
The Rebels return to their home pitch for Sunday's 1 p.m. match against UAB. Admission is free for all Rebel home matches this year.
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