SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Ole Miss played a tightly contested match with No. 8 Santa Clara, but came up short in a 3-1 loss on Sunday at the Inn at Saint Mary's Soccer Classic.
The nationally ranked Broncos out-shot the Rebels by a slim 10-8 margin, and it took some nice saves by SC goalkeeper Bianca Henninger to keep Ole Miss from closing the two-goal gap.
"We played really well today and I'm proud of our girls for competing against a very good Santa Clara team," said first-year head coach Matthew Mott. "We were able to create some chances, and we just came up short in a great effort against a very talented squad. We got better as a team and a program today."
Santa Clara broke out to an early lead with a score by Anessa Patton at the 2:36 mark. It remained 1-0 until two minutes after halftime, when SC's Meleana Shim made it 2-0 with a 25-yard strike.
The Rebels played very well throughout the second half, out-shooting the Broncos 5-4 and producing three second-half corner kicks to just one for Santa Clara. It was SC's Lauren Matheson that scored next, though, to give the Broncos a 3-0 lead at the 57:43 mark.
Dylan Jordan pulled the Rebels back within two with her second goal of the season at the 62:35 mark. Jordan played a ball to Erin Emerson, who gave it right back for a nice give-and-go score.
Mandy McCalla led the Rebels with three shots in the game, while Emerson and Jordan each had two. Taylor Cunningham also played a strong game from her midfield position.
"(Santa Clara coach) Jerry Smith is one of the top coaches in the country," Mott said. "His team is well organized, so for us to come out and compete shows we are making the right steps as a team. I'm happy with our effort and approach to the game today, and I think there are great things to come from this squad."
Ole Miss returns to Oxford for matches against McNeese State on Friday and Memphis on Sunday.
Following the tournament, Ole Miss freshman midfielder Mandy McCalla was named a member of the All-Tournament team.
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