OXFORD, Miss. - A pair of freshmen came up big on Sunday afternoon to help put the Rebels back in the win column as Ole Miss (10-5, 3-5 SEC) defeated Kentucky (8-5-1, 3-4-1 SEC) by a score of 2-0 at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
After two weeks on the road where the offense got several opportunities but couldn't convert the shots into goals, the two goals on Sunday from area products keyed the Ole Miss win. Sara Coleman, a Laurel, Miss., native put the Rebels on the board with her first half goal, while Memphis native Olivia Harrison capped the scoring for Ole Miss with a second half goal.
The Rebel defense also came up big, pitching its sixth shutout of the season behind the play of goalkeeper Kelly McCormick and aggressive back line.
The win marks the fifth consecutive victory over the Wildcats for Ole Miss and ties the overall series with Kentucky at 9-9-1.
"It feels good to be back in the win column," said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. "We finally broke the lid off the goal and got a win over a very good Kentucky team. That's huge for us and our confidence as we prepare to go back on the road. I'm happy with the team and the overall performance.
"Rafaelle Souza and Mandy McCalla get a lot of attention, so that means other players get opportunities," Mott said. "Sara did a good job of taking her goal and so did Olivia. That puts us in a good spot as we move forward and get ready for a tough Vanderbilt team."
Ole Miss got on the board in the first half when Coleman delivered a strike in the 41st minute from the near side to get the scoring started. Rafaelle Souza took the ball down the far side of the field and dribbled into the box, sending the ball across to Coleman who beat the defender one-on-one and delivered the first blow to put Ole Miss up 1-0.
The Rebels came out in the second half and continued to apply early pressure to the Wildcat defense, possessing the ball on the Kentucky side of the field for the early part of the period.
Ole Miss got some breathing room in the 68th minute when Harrison delivered an outstanding shot from the far side along the baseline that bent in over the line close to the near post before a Kentucky defender would knock the ball out. But the keen eye of the far official called the goal as the Rebels took the 2-0 lead on the Wildcats.
Ole Miss will return to action this weekend with a pair of road games at Vanderbilt and South Carolina. The Rebels take on the Commodores at 7 p.m. on Friday night before facing the Gamecocks at 1 p. m. on Sunday afternoon.
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