COLUMBIA, S.C. - A pair of goals from Samantha Sanders and Rafaelle Souza paced the Rebel offense on Sunday and led to a weekend sweep of road contests as Ole Miss (12-5, 5-5 SEC) defeated South Carolina (5-7-4, 2-5-3 SEC) by a score of 2-1.
Ole Miss defeated Vanderbilt 1-0 on Friday night to start off the weekend as the Rebels have now won three straight matches - two by shutout.
The Rebels will now return home to close out the home portion of the schedule with a pair of matches next weekend against LSU on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and Tennessee at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon in a match televised by SportSouth.
"This was a great win and I am so happy with this team and the character, heart and determination they showed today," said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. "For us to get a second goal before halftime was huge, and we held on and fought like crazy in the second half to pick up the win.
"We've been really good in the second half when we have a lead," Mott said. "I'm proud of the effort. It's been a long time coming (grabbing a weekend sweep on the road). Picking up six points in the standings on the road is huge in this league."
Ole Miss picked up where it left off on Friday night with a pressing offense that out-shot the host Gamecocks 7-to-3 in the first period. The pressure paid off with the Rebels picking up a pair of goals in the first period.
Souza got the Rebels on the board when the junior took a cross inside the six-yard box from senior Alix Hildal and drilled it in the net to put Ole Miss on top 1-0. It was the 11th goal of the season for Sousa who now leads the Rebels and the Southeastern Conference in goals. Souza tallied nine goals last season as a sophomore.
South Carolina answered in the 28th minute as Taylor Leach scored her first goal of the season to knot the score at one. Carolina Gray flicked a header to Leach off a corner kick from Andie Romness that Leach converted into a game-tying score.
The score didn't remain tied for long, as Sanders broke the stalemate five minutes later.
The freshman defender made a heads up play when to give the Rebels the 2-1 lead in the 33rd minute. Mandy McCalla took a ball from Brooke Theobald and headed it toward the goal. The ball hit the crossbar and deflected back into the box where Sanders lined it up on goal and buried it in the net to put Ole Miss on top at the half.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kelly McCormick and the Rebel defense did the job in the second half, clamping down to keep the Gamecocks out of the goal on the way to the win. South Carolina out-shot the Rebels 7-to-6 in the second period, but Ole Miss posted the shutout in the second half to pick up the win.
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