OXFORD, Miss. - In a battle of unbeaten teams on Sunday night, the Rebel offense came up with clutch goals while the back line clamped down as Ole Miss (6-0) posted its fourth consecutive shutout of the season with a 2-0 win over Texas Tech (5-1) on Sunday night.
Sophomore goal keeper Kelly McCormick was clutch for the Rebels as she picked up seven saves and cleared many more scoring opportunities for the Red Raiders, backing up a suffocating back line that swarmed to the ball and Texas Tech players.
Ole Miss posted 13 shots to 15 from the Red Raiders, but the Rebels converted twice while keeping Texas Tech off the board - much to the delight of 1,273 roaring fans in attendance.
"The crowd was just great tonight," said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. "The energy and emotion from the Rebel Nation was just electric and we really fed off that. I can't say how much that support, and the support so far this season, has really helped us to this quick start.
"We had really good goal keeping. Our defense came out and played really hard and was very hungry. Mandy McCalla had a great free kick goal to get us on the board. I thought it was a tale of two halves. The first half we really had a good run, but they started to take control in the second half. Kelly (McCormick) was excellent for us until Olivia Harrison just sealed the deal for us with our second goal."
The Rebels got on the board in the 11th minute when McCalla scored on a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box, bending it in over the wall and the hands of the leaping Texas Tech goalkeeper. The junior got the free kick opportunity after she was fouled dribbling in for a shot.
McCormick helped keep the Red Raiders off the board in the first half with a pair of saves and several more deflections off corner kicks and crosses, while the back line kept the pressure on Texas Tech by aggressively turning defensive stops into quick attacks in the other direction.
The second half saw Texas Tech turn up the offensive pressure, only to have McCormick and the Rebel defense respond. Ole Miss posted five of its seven saves in the second half, repeatedly rejecting Texas Tech's attacks.
The Rebels then extended the lead in the 78th minute when Olivia Harrison buried a shot in the back of the net off a free kick from McCormick at mid-field. McCormick delivered the free kick into the box where Harrison was waiting and converted the scoring opportunity.
Ole Miss will return to action on Friday when the Rebels continue their home stand with a match against UAB at 7 p.m. at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium. Admission is free to the public.
Fans of Ole Miss and soccer can keep up with the team through OleMissSports.com or can follow the squad on Twitter @OleMissSoccer. Fans can also "like" the Rebels on Facebook at Ole Miss Soccer on the social media website.
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