Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick tied the school record for shutout victories on Sunday afternoon, helping lead Ole Miss (7-3-4, 2-1-3 SEC) to a 1-0 victory over Alabama (7-4-2, 2-2-1 SEC) as the Rebels posted another undefeated weekend on the pitch.
McCormick posted eight saves for the match as she and the Rebel backline combined to turn away 17 Alabama shots on the way to grabbing the three coveted points in the SEC standings heading into a bye week. The senior goalkeeper now has 22 shutouts for her career.
Junior midfielder Jennifer Miller provided the game-winning goal for the Rebels, finding the back of the net in the 20th minute to push Ole Miss to the win.
“We battled like crazy today, and that makes me so happy,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “Kelly was great with her eight saves today. Our back line and total team effort in defending was very good today. We did a good job in the midfield and a great goal by Jenn Miller. It’s always hard to get a shutout on the road.”
McCormick was tested early as the Crimson Tide fired off a trio of dangerous shots in the first seven minutes of play, but the senior keeper was up the task each time as she turned away the three Alabama shots successfully.
The Rebels settled in and reversed the pressure, firing off several shots through in succession starting at the 16-minute mark. Ole Miss final found the net when Rebels’ junior forward/midfielder Olivia Harrison got loose and tapped the ball to Miller at the top of the box. Miller then fired the shot in past the keeper to put Ole Miss on top 1-0.
McCormick and the defense continue to play well down the stretch, turning away scoring opportunities for the Tide while the Rebel offense sought a second goal in the period. The second goal never came, despite a couple of great opportunities, but the Rebels held the 1-0 advantage at the break.
Ole Miss continued to attack the Tide out of the break, notching a corner and a solid shot in the first minute of play in the second half, but the header yielded nothing as the Rebels were turned away by the Tide again.
The defense continued to step up for the Rebels throughout the second period as the backline and McCormick repeatedly turned away scoring opportunities for the Crimson Tide. After her three saves in the first half, McCormick added five more saves in the second half to lead the Rebels to the shutout victory.
Ole Miss will now have a week off before returning to action on the road with a pair of matches at Kentucky and South Carolina. The Rebels and Wildcats will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday, Oct. 17 when Ole Miss resumes competition.
Rebels battle Auburn to draw
The Rebels rallied twice on Friday night, answering each Tiger goal as Ole Miss (6-3-4, 1-1-3 SEC) played Auburn (6-4-2, 0-2-2 SEC) to a 2-2 draw through two overtime periods at the Auburn Soccer Stadium to kick off a three-week stretch of road matches.
Ole Miss got its first goal from sophomore midfielder Gretchen Harknett in the 65th minute to tie the match for the first time on the evening, The Rebels got a second equalizing goal in the 88th minute from sophomore fielder/midfielder Addie Forbus as Ole Miss fought back to send the game into overtime before battling to the draw.
“It was a very good soccer game tonight and we had to come back twice,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “I’m happy with the character of our team to battle through that. We’re the overtime kings right now. I’m happy with the players scoring two good goals.”
Auburn got on the board in the 26th minute when the Tigers got behind the defense and sophomore midfielder Cassie Ramsier took a shot one-on-one with the Rebels’ keeper. Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick dove and deflected the ball, but an Ole Miss defender slid in behind her attempting to block the shot and knocked it into the goal to put the Tigers on the board with the first goal of the match.
Auburn out-shot the Rebels 9-to-4 in the half and held the one-goal lead heading into the locker room at the break. McCormick posted three saves on Auburn’s four shots on goal in the half as she turned away several Tiger attacks.
The Rebels got a great chance in the 48th minute when junior forward/midfielder Olivia Harrison fired a shot that was punched up over the goal by the Auburn keeper to maintain the lead for the home-standing Tigers in the 53rd minute.
A second chance came in the 63rd minute when Auburn’s freshmen midfielder Ellie Leek was given a yellow card on a foul, setting up a free kick for the Rebels. Harknett took the kick, but it sailed just wide of the goal as the Tigers held onto the lead.
Harknett found the back of the net in the 65th minute when the Rebels got the ball in the box and Forbus tapped it over to the sophomore who drilled it past the keeper to even the match at a goal each.
Auburn moved back in front in the 81st minute with an improbable goal following a Rebel foul at midfield. The Tigers’ junior defender Kala Faulkner took the free kick at midfield, sending a high, arcing serve into the box where freshman forward/midfielder Courtney Schell headed it into the net for the lead.
Ole Miss would not go away as the Rebels continued to fight down the stretch. The resiliency paid off as Forbus found the goal, dribbling past the defender into the box and firing a shot that hit the far post and ricocheted into the net to tie the match at 2-2.
The two teams battled to a draw through the two overtime periods, despite the Rebels having four corner kicks in the second overtime period with a chance to snatch the win.