ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -Jennifer Miller got the Rebels on the board in the first half, but a pair of early goals proved to be too much to overcome as No. 22 Ole Miss (15-5-2) fell to No. 5 Florida (17-3-1) by a score of 2-1 in the SEC Tournament semifinals Friday.
For the third time in only five losses on the season for the Rebels, a penalty kick provided the deciding goal in a match, with the Gators converting what proved to be the game-winner in the 18th minute following a foul called on a challenge at the top of the box.
With the loss, the Rebels will now return home and await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament on Monday. Ole Miss, which also bid to host an opening-round game, will also find out if the Rebels will play at home in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
"It was a tough match and Florida is a very good team," said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. "We fought hard and our intensity level was there. We just couldn't come back after two good goals by them early. Climbing out of that hole is tough against them. We had some chances and created some good opportunities but couldn't convert on that second goal once we got the good goal from Jennifer Miller.
"We should have out spot in the NCAA Tournament secured after tonight and it will be exciting to have the chance to continue our season," Mott said. "Hopefully we'll get the chance to start the journey at home."
Florida got on the board first, putting the ball in the net in the 11th minute when Savannah Jordan took the pass from Havana Solaun in the box from the far side and put it past the Rebel keeper to give the Gators the early 1-0 advantage.
The lead grew to 2-0 when the Gators converted on a penalty kick in the 19th minute. Florida took the ball at the top of the box when a Rebel defender stepped in to poke the ball away and tripped up the Gator player. The foul was called and Solaun stepped up to take the kick before converting successfully.
Ole Miss answered with a goal in the 30th minute when Olivia Harrison and Addie Forbus found Jennifer Miller at the top of the far side of the box. Olivia Harrison sent the ball ahead to Forbus, who tapped the ball up to Miller at the far corner of the box. Miller then fired the shot in over the keeper to the near side to get the Rebels on the board and cut the lead to 2-1.
That margin would hold at the half as the Gators fouled the Rebels with less than 10 seconds to play in the half just outside the top of the box, preventing Ole Miss from getting set up for a good free kick at the goal.
The two teams battled throughout the second half with the defense stepping up for both sides. The Rebels thwarted nine scoring attempts from the Gators, while Florida turned away four Ole Miss shots in the half.
Ole Miss got its best chance with a minute to go in regulation, setting up for a free kick just outside the top of the box on the near side following a Florida foul. The Gators cleared the serve into the box to foil the Rebels' final push at a tying goal and claim the win.
It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more
The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more
No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited. But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more
Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more
Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more
With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more
A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014Football- No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31.- In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked... read more
In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. There's a lot on our... read more
Dragging an Auburn defender on what initially looked to be a go-ahead touchdown, Laquon Treadwell fought his way toward the end zone, but had his ankle rolled over and fumbled into the end zone. In the moments that followed, the... read more