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
    • Freeze, Rebels Focused on Auburn Showdown

      Thursday, October 30, 2014 - Football

      Not only will Saturday's matchup between No. 4 Auburn and No. 7 Ole Miss feature the first-ever meeting of top-10 team in Oxford, but it will feature half of the top four of the College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 9

      Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 9 -LSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 20-26, 2014)

      Monday, October 27, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 20-26, 2014Football- Ole Miss took its first loss of the season with a 10-7 defeat to No. 23 LSU in Baton Rouge.- The Rebels held LSU to 10 points and created four turnovers (two... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 26

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Athletics

      In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. I was able to travel... read more

    • Rebels Fall Short in Death Valley

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Football

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ole Miss had its chances. The Ole Miss defense made seven points stand up for the better part of four quarters, forcing four turnovers and limiting LSU to just three points on its first three trips... read more

    • Three and Out: Ole Miss-LSU

      Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss travels to No. 23 LSU for an SEC West Showdown on Saturday. Stopping The Run Not just this year, but throughout head coach Les Miles' tenure, LSU's running game has been... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-LSU Pregame

      Friday, October 24, 2014 - Football

      Ahead of a rivalry renewed on a national stage, complete with a visit of ESPN's "College GameDay" and the mystique of a Saturday night game in Death Valley, here's link roundup of videos and stories from local and national media... read more

    • Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play

      Thursday, October 23, 2014 - Football

      Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play Through the years, special teams play has provided a winning edge in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry, and and you don't have to go all the way back to Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween run. In... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 8

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 8 - Tennessee (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze, Miles Talk Ole Miss-LSU Rivalry

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

      Monday, October 20, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Tennessee Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more