OXFORD, Miss. - The dynamic duo of Rebel juniors Mandy McCalla and Rafaelle Souza continued to capitalize on aggressive defensive and offensive play from teammates on Friday night as No. 22 Ole Miss (8-0, 1-0 SEC) defeated Arkansas (3-4, 0-1 SEC) by a score of 4-1.
The win opened Southeastern Conference play for the Rebels and set the school record for wins to start a season as Ole Miss has rattled of eight consecutive victories to start the season.
McCalla and Souza each scored two goals on the night to help power the Rebels to the 4-1 win in front of a crowd of 1,363. With the victory, Ole Miss is now 13-4-1 all-time against Arkansas and 4-2 against the Razorbacks in conference opening matches.
The Rebels will close out a six-game home stand on Sunday when Ole Miss will host No. 10 Texas A&M at 1 p.m. at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium. The Aggies are 7-1 on the season and coming off a win over LSU on Friday night.
"We came out really flying and scored two goals in the first half on some brilliant plays by Rafaelle (Souza) and Mandy (McCalla)," said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. "The team is clicking offensively right now and it was a total team win for us. I'm really happy with the team overall.
"It's good to get into conference play, but it's different," Mott said. "The intensity and energy level cranks up another notch. We had a great crowd again tonight and really drew off the cheering and chanting. It is becoming a tough place to play here it Ole Miss. We need that energy with us again on Sunday in a big match against Texas A&M."
Things got started for the Rebels in the 28th minute when Souza and McCalla connected in the box for the first goal of the night. Souza delivered a cross in from the far side of the box to McCalla, who put it in the net to give Ole Miss the 1-0 lead.
Souza wasn't down, however, coming up with a goal of her own less than four minutes later when she received a cross from Erin Emerson in the box and put it in the net herself to give the Rebels the 2-0 lead that Ole Miss would hold at the half.
The Rebels struck again quickly in the second half when Bethany Bunker sent in a cross from the far side of the goal that Souza received in the box and converted for her second goal of the night to give Ole Miss the commanding 3-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
Arkansas responded, scoring in the 73rd minute when Lindsey Mayo scored from in the box to cut the lead to 3-1.
Ole Miss would come back to take the three goal lead with its final goal of the night in the 89th minute. McCalla lined up for a free kick following an Arkansas foul and delivered a shot over the wall and in over the head of the Razorback keeper to make it 4-1 in favor of the Rebels. It was the second goal of the night for the junior.
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