Ole Miss Soccer: Defense Key To Success

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Senior Kelly McCormick and the Rebels take to the field against Georgia on Friday.

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Senior Kelly McCormick and the Rebels take to the field against Georgia on Friday.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Aug. 21, 2014

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s soccer team takes to the field Friday night to open the 2014 season against the Georgia Bulldogs on the SEC Network, and when things kick off at 6 p.m. it will be with the Rebels putting an experienced defensive unit on the field.

Ole Miss returns what is arguably its most veteran unit with a defense that features a senior in goal and a backline comprised of two juniors, a sophomore and a freshman that have combined for 106 starts over the past three seasons.

“We’re excited about our defense, it’s the first time we’ve had a wealth of experience in the back,” said Ole miss head coach Matt Mott. “Kelly (McCormick) is at the top of her game. She looked really sharp and had a great fall camp. She’s worked extremely hard in the offseason to get herself ready. She’s sharp and quick to the ball, and she gets herself in great position. You can’t replace her experience.

“I feel really good about our goalkeeping with Madi and Marnie also on deck for us. I would argue that with those three, we have the best goalkeeping unit in the country. Rob Thompson has done a great job  with all three of them and I hope Kelly just continues to pile on the career win record this season.”

McCormick has posted 34 career wins in goal for the Rebels, setting the school record in three seasons with the win over Jackson State in the NCAA Tournament last season. She’s posted 21 shutouts in her three-year career and will help direct a back line anchored by a pair of experienced juniors in the middle of the defense.

Maddie Friedmann and Samantha Sanders will work in the middle of the Rebels’ line again this season after combining with McCormick to help lead Ole Miss to 29 wins, 18 shutout victories and 31 games holding opponents to one goal or fewer over the past two seasons.

“Maddie reads the game so well and puts herself in great spots as a middle anchor in our back line,” Mott said. “Sam is back off injury from a year ago and looks better every day. We’re excited to get her back as the impactful center back that she was for us the last two seasons.

In addition to Friedmann and Sanders in the middle, the Rebels will also look to a pair of younger players to help turn away opposing offenses along the outside of the back line. Sophomore Melissa Capocaccia and freshman Courtney Carroll are expected to start, giving the Rebels a pair of young, but physical players on the outside and bolstering the strength of the defense.

“Melissa returns for her sophomore season and is very fit,” Mott said. “Last year her job was to get the ball to Rafa, but this year we want her to get herself forward and make herself a playmaker in the offense. Courtney has really impressed us as a physical, strong player with a lot of speed this preseason. We’re expecting her to contribute quickly.”

Ole Miss will also have the flexibility of adding redshirt sophomore Georgia Russell to the backline as the versatile athlete is expected to see minutes on the front line and along the back line to help the Rebels this season. That depth is one of the biggest factors for the optimism among the coaching staff this year.

“I feel very good about our depth this year and it’s probably the best I’ve felt about our depth as a team heading into a season in my five years at Ole Miss,” Mott said. “The quality of players we put on the field is great from top to bottom.”

Ole Miss opens the season at 6 p.m. against the Georgia Bulldogs in a match that will be televised by the SEC Network and is the first live regular-season event broadcast by the newly launched network. The Rebels will then return to the pitch to take on Iowa State from the Big 12 at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to all matches at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium is free.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge to Air on ESPNU Aug. 1

      Thursday, July 30, 2015 -

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more

    • Football Signees Report for Summer Classes

      Friday, May 29, 2015 - Football

      Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      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

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      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 Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      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