Ole Miss takes on Jackson State at 7 p.m. Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Nov. 14, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel soccer team looks to make history Friday night at 7 p.m. when No. 22 Ole Miss (15-5-2) takes the field against Jackson State (10-9-2) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
The match will mark the first time the Rebels have hosted an NCAA Tournament match in the history of the program and will also give Ole Miss a chance to set the school record for wins in a season. With a win, the Rebels would post a 16-win season for the first time in school history.
“We’re certainly excited to get to keep playing this season and to keep playing at home,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott following his team’s practice session Thursday. “We’ve been building toward this since we got here as a staff and these players have really bought into what we’re trying to do. This is another step forward as a program and we have a chance to keep playing if we do the things we need to do Friday night.”
The Rebels take the field with players also looking at the chance to make their mark in the individual record books, with Rafaelle Souza needing one goal to take over the top spot on the career goal scoring list. Currently, Souza has 19 goals this season to bring her career total to 41 goals over the past three seasons. She is the leading scorer on the team and also among the national leaders in goals scored and points with six assists this season.
Joining her on the attack is fellow senior Mandy McCalla, who is also climbing up the ranks for goals scored in a career. McCalla has notched 14 goals on the season and is fourth on the all-time goal list with 35 for her four years in Oxford.
Junior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick also continues to set new marks in the Ole Miss record book after setting the record for wins in goal with the 2-0 victory over Kentucky at the SEC Tournament last week. A win over Jackson State this Friday would keep moving the keeper up that list heading into her senior campaign with the Rebels next season.
Ole Miss has posted nine shutout victories this season, besting last year’s mark of eight shutouts heading into the NCAA Tournament and giving the Rebels 17 shutout victories over the last two seasons. This has been accomplished with the play of McCormick and a back line that features a pair of sophomore starters and a pair of freshmen starters.
The Rebels also posted a 2-3-2 record against nationally-ranked teams through those seven matches against some of the nation’s top competition. Ole Miss posted 1-1 draws against No. 13 Southern California and No. 7 South Carolina, while picking up wins over No. 20 Georgia and No. 25 LSU. Two of the three losses came against Florida, while the third loss came against Texas A&M who shared the Southeastern Conference regular season title with the Gators and claimed the SEC Tournament with a win over Florida.
The Rebels finished fourth in the overall SEC standings with a 7-3-1 record in conference play.
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