MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -Rafaelle Souza scored the only goal of the match, but a big defensive performance by the Rebels saw the squad remain undefeated as Ole Miss (4-0-1) and No. 13 Southern California (3-0-1) played to a 1-1 draw Friday night.
Souza delivered her goal off a pass from Mandy McCalla in a quick answer to the Trojan goal as both teams scored within three minutes of each other on an afternoon that saw solid play by both keepers. Ole Miss' Kelly McCormick posted six saves on the afternoon, while the USC keeper posted three saves.
"Our team really battled today and gutted it out," said Ole Miss head coach Matt Mott. "Our effort and intensity level was awesome. It was a high-level competition with two very talented teams going at each other. We played so hard, especially with our back line and defense of Kelly (McCormick) in goal."
"We came out in the second half committed to playing better than we did in the first," Mott said. "We came out determined that we would not lose this match. We came out flying around and carried that through the overtime. We were going to find a way to win this match if we could today."
It was a defensive first half with both teams pushing back and forth looking for a weakness. Neither team was able to capitalize on opportunities, however, as the teams went into halftime with no score.
The second half saw an aggressive Rebel team out of the gates, pressing advantages offensively as Ole Miss sought to get on the board. Ole Miss got one of its best shots in the early stages of the second half when Rafaelle Souza took a shot from the near corner of the box that was stopped by a diving keeper for USC.
The Trojans then turned the stop into an attack, converting on a goal in the 57th mark to break the stalemate. Kayla Mills notched the goal from the far side, taking the pass from Jamie Fink to set up the score.
The Rebels responded almost immediately, taking the ball down the field and answering with a goal in the 65th minute from Souza. The senior took the ball on the far side of the box and made a move on the defender after receiving the ball from McCalla, beating the Trojan with a fake before drilling the shot into the far side of the net to tie the match at one.
The two teams battled from there, trading body blows but neither getting the knockout punch down the stretch. Ole Miss had a chance with 10 seconds remaining, sending a free kick into the box and getting a flurry of shots off, but the Trojans deflected each one to send the game into overtime.
The defensive struggle continued through the first overtime period with both defenses coming up with big stops on limited opportunities to keep the score knotted after the 10-minute frame.
The second overtime period was more of the same with neither team able to capitalize on limited chances on the way to the draw.
The Rebels will return to action on Sunday afternoon when Ole Miss faces off against host Minnesota at 1 p.m.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Watch: Freeze on CFB Live Watch: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more