Sept. 15, 2005
OXFORD, Miss. -
On the heels of an impressive 3-2 victory at Memphis on Tuesday, Ole Miss (5-2-0) will host Charlotte (3-3-0) Friday at 7 p.m. at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
Rebel youngsters are encouraged to come out to the match, as any kid wearing an OPC league jersey will receive complimentary admission and have the opportunity to stand on the field with the team during the National Anthem as part of "Oxford Park Commission Night."
After starting the season 4-0, the Rebels fell to Saint Louis and Florida State in back-to-back one-goal games, but are looking to continue a new winning streak as they head into Southeastern Conference play. The Charlotte matchup will be Ole Miss' final non-conference regular season match of the year.
"We have broken our season down into two smaller seasons - the non-conference part and the conference portion," said Rebel head coach Steve Holeman. "We want to finish this first part on a high note, and we can do that by beating Charlotte. We just need to continue doing the things that got us our first five wins."
Sophomore Chrissy Strini had another strong performance in the Tuesday night match at Memphis, as she scored her third goal of the season and tallied her fourth assist. She now leads the club in both categories.
Junior team captain Lyndsey Williams has helped anchor a defense that has allowed just six goals in seven games. She is the only remaining Rebel who has played every minute in 2005.
The standout player against Memphis was sophomore Christine Liberto, who in her first start of the season scored two goals within 10 seconds to give Ole Miss a 2-0 lead early in the match. Liberto, who hails from Charlotte, N.C., will look to have another strong outing when the Rebels face her hometown team.
Ole Miss' heralded freshman class continues to produce results. Against the Tigers in Memphis, freshmen Stacey Emmonds and Jennifer Hance provided assists to move the freshman point total to 13, which amounts to one-third of the Rebels' total points this season.
The 49ers of Charlotte come into the match with a 3-3 record and have won their last two matches, both 2-1 wins over Furman and South Carolina in the Carolina's Cup. They are led this season by sophomore Nicole Labuda, who has scored six goals. Sophomore midfielder Lindsey Beam was named to Soccer Buzz's Elite Team of the Week for her efforts in the Carolina's Cup.
"We had a great game at Charlotte last year," Holeman said. "It will be nice having them on our field this time. I think they will come in here very confident after beating Furman and a very good South Carolina team. They know how to play against the caliber of an SEC team."
In the only Rebel-49er match to date, Ole Miss defeated Charlotte on the road last year by a score of 1-0.
Ole Miss will have a week off after Charlotte to prepare for the start of SEC play. The Rebels will travel to Athens, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn., for matches against the Bulldogs and Lady Vols next Friday and Sunday.