Ole Miss head coach Matt Mott met with members of the media on Monday to talk about last week's matches and the upcoming regular-season finale against Mississippi State. Mott also talked about the team clinching a berth in the SEC Tournament and the team's chances at an NCAA Tournament bid.
Opening Statement: "It's State week. We have one game on the schedule this week and it's Mississippi State. It's on Thursday down in Starkville. It's a place we struggled last time we were down there. It is certainly a big game for us. It's the Magnolia Cup. We play for a trophy every year. I told the team yesterday that anytime you get a chance to play for a trophy, it's special and you want to win that.
Certainly it's a rival. State's got some talented players, some dangerous front runners. They've scored a number of goals. Elizabeth Sullivan for them is a very, very good forward. They'll be ready. It will be their senior night. We have to be prepared.
We have officially qualified for the SEC tournament which is a big accomplishment for us. Our goal going into the season was to get back into the postseason, and we've been able to do that with our play as of late. We're excited to get down to Orange Beach. We will play Monday in the eight-nine game. We don't know who we will play yet, but we are slated to play in that game.
We had a good performance this past weekend. Mandy McCalla scored three goals on the weekend, two on Friday against LSU and one yesterday against Tennessee. We had good play out of our back line. We're happy with where we fit. We're glad we made the tournament. One big game left in the regular season before we head down to the beach. We need to be ready for Mississippi State."
On If The Mentality Changes After Clinching A Spot In The SEC Tournament: "Absolutely not. We're going full force to try and beat Mississippi State. It's a rivalry game and a big game for us. It's certainly on the schedule and we're going to go down there and do everything we can. There are still NCAA implications in that game as well. It's a game that we need to win."
On Team Confidence With Having The Top Two Scorers In The Conference: "It certainly helps. Mandy (McCalla) getting three this past weekend was huge for us. Rafa (Rafaelle Souza) had two assists on the weekend. They're both playing really well and that is certainly important."
On Chances Of Making The NCAA Tournament: "I'd say sitting squarely on the bubble is probably pretty fair. We certainly need to get a result against State and do some damage in the SEC tournament to give us a very good chance. With our RPI, we're sitting right there in the bubble zone. We have a couple of good wins on resume like Kentucky, Texas Tech and Arkansas. We really don't have any bad losses which is important. Georgia is probably our worst loss and they're well within the top 100. We're in a good spot. A couple of more wins on our resume certainly would help."
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