Ole Miss Notes in PDF Format
OXFORD, Miss. The Ole Miss Rebels (5-4-1, 1-0-1 SEC) will close out an eight-match homestand when they host Southeastern Conference Western Division rivals Arkansas (7-2, 0-1 SEC) on Friday at 7 p.m. and LSU (6-4-1, 1-0-1 SEC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium. Both matches will be streamed live with free access on OleMissSports.TV.
Fans will have a chance to meet the Ole Miss cheerleaders at Friday night’s contest, while fans are encouraged to “Stuff the Stands” on Sunday. The first 200 fans will receive a free red t-shirt in an attempt to draw the largest crowd in Ole Miss soccer history.
The Rebels are off to a hot start in the conference schedule after tying No. 8 Tennessee 1-1 last Friday and shutting out No. 25 Georgia 3-0 on Sunday. With the weekend results, Ole Miss went unbeaten against consecutive top-25 opponents for the first time in school history and is unbeaten through two SEC games for the first time since 2000.
“The first weekend of conference play is always critical,” said Rebel head coach Steve Holeman. “It helps to establish who’s going to compete in the league. It’s difficult to start without a win, so to start undefeated is amazing for our confidence. You can never get relaxed, but I feel good about the direction we’re heading.”
Ole Miss has been led by a tough defense in the early conference season. Junior goalkeeper Ann Shelton was recently named to the Soccer Buzz’s National Elite Team of the Week for her performances against the Lady Vols and Bulldogs. She allowed just one goal in 200 minutes of play and recorded her third shutout of the season and 11th of her career, moving her into sole possession of third on the all-time Rebel list.
Senior forward Brittney Potts has been the top goal-scorer for the Rebels all season, and currently leads the team with six goals and 14 points, which both rank tied for third in the SEC. Junior midfielder Chrissy Strini leads all SEC players with seven assists, which ranks eighth nationally.
The Lady Razorbacks of Arkansas enter the weekend slate with a 7-2 overall record and 0-1 mark in league action. After their match vs. Kentucky on Friday was rained out, the Lady Backs dropped a heartbreaker to Vanderbilt 2-1 in double overtime.
Arkansas is led offensively by senior midfielder Christina Burger, who has six goals and three assists. Senior keeper Carrie Dillsaver has helped the defense surrender just eight goals in the team’s nine matches.
“Arkansas has a great non-conference record,” said Holeman, who has led the Rebels to a 9-2 advantage in the all-time series against the Lady Backs. “They just lost to a very talented Vanderbilt team in two overtimes, so they are much improved. It should be a competitive match, and with a home football game this weekend, our Friday night crowd should give us a great atmosphere.”
The LSU Tigers enter the weekend tied with the Rebels for the top spot in the SEC West standings at 1-0-1 and riding a four-match unbeaten streak. The Tigers tied Vanderbilt 0-0 last Friday before picking up a 3-2 victory over Kentucky in LSU’s first-ever win over the Wildcats.
Freshman sensation Michelle Makasini tops the SEC and ranks third in the nation in goals scored with nine, while also adding four assists. LSU’s 24 goals rank second as a team behind Florida’s 25.
“LSU had one of the top 10 recruiting classes in the country this year,” Holeman noted. “They are young, but extremely talented, and they are coming off a huge weekend. We know LSU is confident after a demanding non-conference schedule, so we will need to be at our best against them.”
The Rebels will be trying to even the all-time series, which LSU currently leads 6-5.