Sunday night was a nail-biter for Ole Miss soccer. The game was scoreless going into the final three minutes. Senior Gretchen Harknett scored the only goal of the night, pushing Ole Miss soccer past Troy, 1-0, at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
The Rebels (4-2) and Trojans (4-3) battled head-to-head until Addie Forbus, senior forward, passed the ball from inside the box to Harknett, who aggressively kicked it into the net from the far right corner.
“It is frustrating when they’re packing it in and the opportunities are there, so the little window appeared and I shot hoping for the best,” Harknett said. “I was really happy to get one in.”
The Rebels led in shots the entire game, ending with 20 pressuring shots that challenged Troy, while Troy finished with seven. By halftime, the game was a tightly locked defensive battle.
“I thought we defended really well the entire game and did not give them any dangerous chances,” Head Coach Matthew Mott said. “We gave Troy a lot of looks and to finally get a shot around the 80-minute mark was great.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Marnie Merritt and the Rebel defense played aggressively and stoutly throughout the game, giving Merritt her third shutout of the season as she made four stops in the game.
“We were kind of sitting in waiting for our chance and we took note of our opportunities,” Merritt said. “Everyone defensively had a stellar performance, which was great.”
Troy committed 13 fouls, while the Rebels had only seven. Troy’s goalkeeper, Mikki Lewis, had a solid game, finishing with six saves and deflecting several close shots.
Alongside Harknett, Sara Coleman, CeCe Kizer and Gabby Little put effort in trying to make one shot each on goal. Harknett said to prepare for their upcoming game they need to work on cleaner and quicker passes.
Harknett’s goal gave Ole Miss their fourth win before they head into SEC play next weekend. Ole Miss opens their first SEC game of the season at 7 p.m. Friday, against Missouri at home. Head Coach Matthew Mott said he encourages more fans to come out and support their first SEC game.
“We are excited for SEC play. It is definitely time,” Mott said. “We have gotten six games under our belt and we are really coming together. SEC is more intense and we have grown to know each other better and are ready.”