TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -Kelly McCormick came up big for the Rebels on Sunday, posting eight saves on the afternoon including a big save on a penalty kick as Ole Miss (9-2, 2-2 SEC) shutout Alabama (6-3-1, 1-2-1 SEC) at the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
The Rebels claimed the road win in large part thanks to a swarming defense that was able to come up with big stops throughout the course of the match and the foot of junior forward Mandy McCalla.
McCalla put the only ball in the net on the afternoon when she delivered on a penalty kick in the 60th minute to get the Rebels on the board. It was the 10th goal of the season for McCalla, who leads Ole Miss in the category and also sits atop the SEC.
It was the blank sheet turned in by McCormick and the defense that stood out the most for the Rebels. Alabama had not been shut out all season until the win by the Rebels.
"It's so hard to get a shutout on the road in the Southeastern Conference," said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. "We fought hard for 90 minutes and right up to the last kick of the game. We got a great save late from Kelly (McCormick). It was a gutty performance for us against a good team that is well coached and organized.
The Rebels have now shutout Alabama in two straight meetings after picking up a 3-0 win over the Crimson Tide last season in Oxford.
Ole Miss got opportunities early, taking four solid shots in the first 15 minutes of the match that included a pair at close range from Souza that clipped the crossbar. The Rebels also got a shot from Bethany Bunker that sailed high and one from Brooke Theobald that also clipped the crossbar.
All-told, the Rebels outshot the Crimson Tide 8-to-6 in the first half. Sophomore goalkeeper Kelly McCormick posted four saves on Alabama shots, while the other two Crimson Tide shots sailed high and wide.
Alabama got its best opportunity of the afternoon on a penalty kick in the 55th minute. The Crimson Tide lined up the shot from Theresa Diederich, but McCormick came up with a diving save to keep Alabama off the board.
Ole Miss finally got on the board in the 60th minute when McCalla converted her penalty kick opportunity. The junior dribbled in from the far side of the box before being taken down as she lined up for a shot. McCalla then lined up for the penalty kick and drilled the ball into the net to put the Rebels on top.
The Rebels return to action next weekend with two more road matches. Ole Miss will travel to Florida on Friday night at 6 p.m. CT and then take on Auburn at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
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