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.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more
Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more
Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more
In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama. - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more
With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more
Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more
Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more
Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more
With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more