Maddie Friedmann and the Rebels open the 2013 campaign Friday night against UL-L.
Aug 21, 2013
OXFORD, Miss – The Ole Miss athletic season will officially get underway this weekend when the Rebel soccer team kicks off its 2013 season at 7 p.m. on Friday against the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
With two weeks of preseason workouts under their belt, the Rebels will take the field for the first time to face outside competition and start their journey on a return to the Southeastern Conference Tournament and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in school history.
“Without playing an exhibition game it’s a little scary heading into that first game,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “We haven’t played anyone but ourselves. It’s important we make sure we are sharp when we take the field on Friday night.
“Louisiana-Lafayette is a good opponent,” Mott said. “We played them in a 1-0 victory last year and they gave us everything we wanted in competition. I expect nothing different from them this year. Scott Wieland is a good coach. We have to be organized, play quickly and get the ball in dangerous positions against them for the chance to score goals.”
The Rebels enter the 2013 campaign with the top two scorers in the league from a year ago returning to lead them in their senior season. Both Mandy McCalla and Rafaelle Souza notched 13 goals and seven assists last year as the Rebels put together a 13-win season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
The pair earned All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches, while Souza was named an NSCAA All-Region selection and McCalla was named a third team All-America selection by CollegeSportsMadness.com. She was also named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year by the same online publication at the conclusion of last year and heading into the 2013 campaign.
Junior Kelly McCormick returns in goal for the Rebels after helping Ole Miss post eight shutout victories a year ago, including a stretch of four consecutive shutouts that featured 483 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.
In all, the Rebels return nine starters from last year’s squad while welcoming nine newcomers to the squad.
Admission to all matches is free and fans can participate in several activities and giveaways in conjunction with the match. The first 200 fans will receive free hotdogs from the Ole Miss marketing team and fans will also receive seat cushions sponsored by Chick-fil-A. It is also Sumo Friday, where two lucky fans will get to dress in sumo suits and wrestle on the field at halftime.
Ole Miss is also proud to announce a new promotion for the 2013 season with the “5-for-10” promotion. Fans who attend at least five of the Rebels’ 10 home matches will receive an Ole Miss Soccer scarf at the conclusion of the season when Ole Miss hosts Mississippi State in the regular-season finale on Halloween.
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