A Look Back at the Spring for Ole Miss Soccer
May 4, 2017
OXFORD, Miss. – Head Ole Miss soccer coach Matthew Mott described this spring season as one of the best for the Rebels. His assessment showed, as the team took care of business in five spring matches, and performed well in training.
“It was a really good spring for us, probably the best we’ve had since I’ve been here, Mott said. “The girls came in really fit from Christmas break and worked really hard in the weight room. Then we were able to get on the field and they did such a good job of taking on board what we were trying to teach them. We did a lot of work on defending early on in the spring, and it showed by us not giving up any goals. We worked a ton on our attack and scored 18 goals in our games, so really happy with that, and it was overall a really good spring.”
The Rebels went 4-1 with three victories over SEC foes in LSU, Vanderbilt and Auburn. CeCe Kizer looks to be back in midseason form, according to Mott, and she along with Gabby Little were a dangerous threat up top throughout the spring slate.
“Kizer is back in form and healthy and she had a great spring,” Mott added. “Little has rounded into form and those two are really dangerous. We added Channing Foster, an early enrollee, who was just dynamite for us. Everyone gelled really quickly, and we scored some great goals, too, which is exciting as we look to August.”
Ole Miss also welcomed three key newcomers – Mary Kate Smith (Jones County JC transfer), Channing Foster (early HS enrollee) and Julia Phillips (Florida State) – all as early enrollees. The three have stepped right in and contributed in big ways, according to Mott.
“(Channing) has been just dynamite,” Mott said of the Kentucky native. “She came in and played and attacking mid/forward type role. She scored a number of goals in the spring, and played some final balls into our front line that we just haven’t seen in my time here. She’s a tough kid, and for a freshman, she’s really well skilled and able to unlock pressure easily for us. She’s going to be an exciting one to watch for sure.”
Smith, a native of Ellisville, Mississippi, spent the previous two years at Jones County Junior College, before enrolling at Ole Miss this spring.
“Mary Kate has been a dream,” Mott said. “She came to us from JUCO, really our first JUCO player since I’ve been here. She’s been awesome. She’s fast, tough and played on the right side the whole time. She served great balls and is a tough scoring threat and also great defensively. She’s going to be a great one for the Rebels.”
Phillips, a native of Virginia who will also be in her junior season, brings with her loads of experience in a big time stage already.
“She’s a big time player – left footed and plays on the left side,” Mott said. “She played a ton of minutes for us this spring, and is poised to be a big contributor for us this fall. She’s got great tenacity and toughness, and came in with a great skillset. Obviously has a great pedigree coming out of Virginia, playing at Florida State last year as a freshman.”
Along with the three newcomers for the spring, the Rebels also head into the fall with a special senior class, led by team captain Bella Fiorenzo. She, along with Liza Harbin, Danielle Gray and Courtney Carroll, will be suiting up for their final fall seasons in a few months.
“Liza, Dani, Courtney and Bella – it’s four players that have a lot of experience and played a lot of minutes,” Mott said of the senior class. “We’re ready to get this program back to where it belongs. Our motto this year is Brick-by-Brick, and they want to do it one step at a time and focus on all the little details to make sure we’re doing things the right way and putting this program back where it belongs.”
Those four seniors and the remaining Rebels get their shot at that goal beginning mid-August. The full 2017 schedule will be released soon at OleMissSports.com.
Keep up with all the latest news and information on the Rebels by following Ole Miss Soccer on Twitter at @OleMissSoccer, on Facebook at Facebook.com/OleMissSoccer, and on Instagram at Instagram.com/officialolemisssoccer. Also follow head coach Matt Mott on Twitter at @CoachMattMott. Additionally fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss Athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.
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