Mandy McCalla and the Rebels will host 10 matches in a challenging 20-game schedule this fall.
June 5, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. – Fresh off one of the program’s best season’s that saw the Rebels finish two games shy of the best record in school history, the Ole Miss women’s soccer team has stepped up to the plate again with a challenging schedule for the 2013 season, head coach Matt Mott announced on Wednesday.
The 2013 campaign will feature five teams who advanced to NCAA Tournament play a year ago, including games against four teams who advanced past the first round and a pair of Sweet 16 teams in Florida and Texas A&M.
“We’re really excited about this schedule,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “It’s a challenging schedule, but one we’re thrilled to get a chance to play. We look forward to testing ourselves with a challenging non-conference schedule that features a pair of perennial powers in Minnesota and Southern California, as well as hosting Memphis in a regional rivalry game. We then jump into our conference schedule and play a tough slate of league games.”
The Rebels will play host to 10 matches this season, including four non-conference contests against Louisiana-Lafayette (8/23), Northwestern State (8/30), Memphis (9/15) and Arkansas-Little Rock (9/22).
In addition to the four non-conference matches, the Rebels will host seven Southeastern Conference foes, including Florida (9/27), Auburn (9/29), Vanderbilt (10/11), South Carolina (10/20), Alabama (10/27) and in-state rival Mississippi State (11/1).
Ole Miss will play a challenging road schedule this season, including five non-conference matches and five SEC contests. While playing on the road at UAB (8/25), Saint Louis (9/1) and Kennesaw State (9/13), the Rebels will also head north to play in the Minnesota Gold Classic, hosted by the University of Minnesota. There, Ole Miss will play a neutral site match against the Women of Troy from the University of Southern California (9/6) and face the host Golden Gophers (9/8).
The Rebels are coming off a 13-9 season a year ago and posted the best start in school history with a perfect 8-0 mark to open the year. Ole Miss earned a berth in the Southeastern Conference Tournament for the 14th time in school history and advanced past the first round four only the fourth time in school history – eliminating LSU in the opening round before falling to eventual SEC Tournament Champion Florida 2-1 in the quarterfinals on a late goal.
Returning to lead Ole Miss in the 2013 campaign is a solid nucleus of players that include a pair of All-Star honor recipients in seniors Mandy McCalla and Rafaelle Souza. McCalla was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year and a third team All-America selection by CollegeSportsMadness.com last season, while Souza was named an All-SEC selection and NSCAA All-Region selection.
McCalla and Souza combined to form the most prolific offensive tandem in the SEC last year, leading the conference with 13 goals each and seven assists.
Returning to help anchor the Rebel defense is junior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick, who posted eight shutout victories in 2013 and helped direct a back line that featured three freshmen and helped the Ole Miss hold opponents to one goal or less in 14 outings.
The Rebels open the season at home against Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday, August 23, at 7 p.m. at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
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