ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – It looked like things would be heading to overtime for the Rebels in the opening round of the SEC Tournament on Monday, but Rafaelle Souza and Ole Miss had other plans.
With less than a minute to play in regulation, Jessica Hiskey took the ball on a fast break down the far side of the field and found Rafaelle Souza in the penalty box where Souza delivered a strike into the goal with 43 seconds left on the clock.
The goal pushed ninth-seeded Ole Miss (13-8) to a 1-0 win over eighth-seeded LSU (9-8-4). With the first round win, the Rebels will now face top-seeded Florida on Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m.
“It’s a great win,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “LSU is a great opponent and they do a great job; they’re hard to break down. It felt like we were getting close, but we couldn’t find that goal and Rafaelle (Souza) just had a second of brilliance. It was a great finish, and we’ll take it for sure.
“Staying with it (helped the Rebels win),” Mott said. “We move the ball well, we got in dangerous spots and we kept trying to get in dangerous spots until we thought we could get a goal.”
Souza scored the game-winning goal – her fourth on the season – to move into a tie with teammate Mandy McCalla for the SEC lead in goals scored on the same day both players were tabbed for All-SEC honors by the league’s coaches.
The win is the first for the Rebels at the SEC Tournament since the 2004 season when Ole Miss beat host Auburn in the opening round and faced Florida in a second-round matchup.
The two teams played to a draw through the first period of play, despite the Rebel offense proving to be the aggressors. Ole Miss out-shot the Tigers 9-to-3 through the first 45 minutes, many of them on goal, though none of those shots were converted for goals to put the Rebels on the board.
The two teams went into the half with neither team having drawn the first blow.
LSU opened the second half with an aggressive attack early, but the Rebels pushed back and knocked the Tigers on the heels after settling down. Ole Miss countered with its own punch, turning defensive stops into quick strikes in the other direction.
The Tiger keeper was able to keep the Rebels off the board with several nice saves throughout the period. Souza was able to break free in the final minute and finished the fast break started by Hiskey as the Rebels counter-attack proved successful and Ole Miss picked up the win.
The Rebels out-shot the Tigers 18-to-10 on the night and the Rebels picked up the eighth shutout of the season behind the play of a solid defensive back line and sophomore goalkeeper Kelly McCormick. The eighth shutout victory is fourth most in a single season as the 2005 team posted 11 shutout wins and Ole Miss recorded 10 shutout victories in both 2003 and 2009.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
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 ShowListen:... 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