The Ole Miss women’s soccer team will head to the University of Memphis this weekend for a tournament in which it hopes to defend its three-game winning streak.
Ole Miss will play University of Tulsa at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by Memphis at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Rice University will also be competing in this tournament but will not go up against the Rebels.
“This is a big weekend coming up,” head coach Matt Mott said in a press conference Monday.
And due to the competition the team will face, it truly will be a big weekend for the undefeated Rebels, who have only let up one goal in their seven games this season.
This is the second time the Rebels have ever faced the 1-4-1 Tulsa team, last year being their only match, in which Ole Miss came out victorious.
“Tulsa was a team we battled last year and won 2-1 late, and it was a very good game,” Mott said. “They are an excellent team out of the AAC.”
After taking on Tulsa, Ole Miss will face one of its toughest challenges yet: the 5-0 Memphis Tigers.
“We lost to them last year, and it is back and forth with us,” Mott said. “They are an excellent team and have some really high-level players. They are really well-coached, and we have a lot of respect for them.”
Memphis and Ole Miss have had a rivalry since they first played each other in 1995 and have continued to face each other almost every year since.
“We play them every spring and every fall, and it’s always a really good game,” Mott said. “They are undefeated right now, and we are also undefeated right now.”
Last season, the Rebels lost to the Tigers by a final score of 1-2, and in the 2015 season, the game ended with a 2-1 overtime win for Ole Miss, which just goes to show how fierce the competition is between the two schools. Overall, Ole Miss has a 10-7-2 record against Memphis.
With these two upcoming games, Ole Miss hopes to continue building its momentum and create more opportunities for shots to add to its 33 goals this season, already more than the team scored last season.
“I think we are leading the country in scoring,” Mott said. “We didn’t see that coming, but it certainly is something we are proud of.”
Not only have the Rebels been dominant on their offense with Channing Foster and CeCe Kizer both leading the team with seven goals, but goalkeeper Marnie Merritt and the rest of the defense have also been a powerful force.
“We have only given up one goal, which we are also proud of,” Mott said. “Five shutouts is more than we had last year.”
Once the Rebels return from the road after the Memphis tournament, they will head back on the road the following Thursday to finally face their first conference game against the Florida Gators in Gainesville.
For now, Ole Miss is looking for more shutouts, high-scoring offensive games and some intense competition from its rivals this weekend.