OXFORD, Miss. - Senior forward Rafaelle Souza came up big for the Rebels on Sunday afternoon, punching in a pair of goals that included the golden goal in overtime to give No. 23 Ole Miss (13-4-2, 6-3-1 SEC) a 2-1 victory over Alabama (6-11-0, 4-6-0 SEC).
With time running down in the first overtime period, senior Erin Emerson lined up a corner kick from the near side of the field and sent the ball into the box. Souza leaped up over an Alabama defender and headed the ball into the net past the near post to give the Rebels the victory in the 97th minute of play.
It was one of many opportunities the Rebels had on the afternoon, but one of the few not turned away by the Alabama defense and goalkeeper Emily Rusk.
Ole Miss tallied 24 shots on the afternoon, many on set pieces in the box as the Rebels took 12 corners, but only found the back of the net twice. The two times was enough for the win and three more points in the conference standings.
"It was a very hard-fought match today and Sunday's in the SEC are always tough," said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. "We got off to a good start and got a good goal. Then Pia Rijsdijk got a good goal when she got free. We took control in the second half, but just couldn't find the back of the net. Rafa Souza finally got a good one and put it in for us to get us the win."
Souza put the Rebels on the board first, taking a ball from Olivia Harrison at the top of the box on the far side. The sophomore played the ball to the foot of the senior, who turned and beat a defender before drilling the ball in the net to give Ole Miss the 1-0 lead in the seventh minute of play.
The Rebels kept up the offensive pressure, while the defense turned away the Crimson Tide for most of the first period until right at the end.
With less than a minute to play in the first half, Auburn Mercer found Rijsdijk on the far side and sent the ball in to the streaking forward. Rijsdijk then took the ball into the box on the far side and sent in the shot past the near post to even the match at a goal each.
Ole Miss out-shot the Crimson Tide 8-to-2 in the first half, but the Crimson Tide were able to convert while turning the Rebels away to stay in striking distance.
The attack continued for the Rebels in the second half as Ole Miss widened the margin against Alabama, taking 16 shots to only two for the Crimson Tide in the second half. Again the visiting team's defense found ways to deny the high-pressure attack of the Rebels to keep Ole Miss off the board and send the match into overtime.
The Rebels took two shots on goal in the overtime period with Souza finding the net on the second shot in the 97th minute.
Ole Miss will close out the regular season at home Thursday when the Rebels host in-state rival Mississippi State at 7 p.m. The two teams will play for the Magnolia Cup which is presented to the winner of the match after each contest.
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman Show... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more
Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy talks about the addition of assistant coach Tony Madlock and the new-look roster for the upcoming season, among other topics, on the SEC Summer Men's Basketball Coaches Media Teleconference Monday. Here are the highlights:Ole... read more