STARKVILLE, Miss. – Despite coming early in the game, an own-goal proved to be the costly one on Thursday night as Ole Miss (12-8, 5-8 SEC) fell to Mississippi State (9-10-1, 2-10-1 SEC) by a score of 3-2 in double overtime.
The Rebels fell behind 2-0 early in the second half off an own-goal and goal from Mississippi State’s Elisabeth Sullivan – the first of two goals for the junior on the night. Sullivan also hit the golden goal in the second overtime period in the 104th minute to give the Bulldogs the win.
The match was dominated by the Rebels for most of the contest as Ole Miss out-shot the Bulldogs 22-to-8 on the night.
Sara Coleman sparked the rally and got the Rebels on the board in the 78th minute when she took a deflection off a free kick from Mandy McCall and put it back in the net. McCalla took the shot on a free kick following a Mississippi State foul and it was stopped by the keeper, but the ball bounce in the box and a charging Coleman squared up the shot and buried it in the net.
It was the third goal of the season for Coleman, a freshman from Laurel.
The Rebels tied the match at two in the 80th minute when Souza took a ball in the box off a service from McCalla on the far side and headed it past the keeper to even the score at two.
The Rebels couldn’t muster a third goal in the overtime period to claim the win as the game went into a second overtime period before Mississippi State would pick up the win.
Ole Miss kept the pressure on the Bulldogs for much of the first half, out-shooting the home team 6-to-4 and possessing the ball on the Mississippi State half of the field a significant amount of the period.
The Rebels got perhaps the best opportunity of the half when Rafaelle Souza took the ball on the far side of the field and dribbled into the six-yard box and dumped it off to Brooke Theobald. Theobald took the shot, but it was blocked by a Bulldog defender as Mississippi State kept Ole Miss off the board.
Mississippi State took the lead in the 66th minute when an own goal spelled trouble for the Rebels. A cross sent the ball in the box where the Rebel defense went to play it out, instead the ball got bumped back into the goal by a Rebel in the chaos and put the Bulldogs on the board.
The Bulldogs extended the lead in the 74th minute when Sullivan took a deflection off the far post that skipped across the box to the near post where she put it back in the net to make it 2-0 in favor of the home team.
The Rebels then mounted the furious rally that would tie the game and send it into the first of two overtime periods.
Ole Miss will return to action on Monday evening when the Rebels take on LSU in the first day of action at the SEC Tournament. The contest with the Tigers will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Orange Beach Sports Complex in Orange Beach, Ala.
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