The Ole Miss soccer team continued its impressive SEC play on Friday night with a 1-1 draw against the No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies.
The Rebels’ strong performance puts them at 8-4-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the conference. After the Rebels secured their tie versus Texas A&M, the team is in prime position to make a late push in the final six matches before the postseason begins.
The Rebels struck first in the 24th minute on a free kick from 40 yards out. Grace Johnson sent a soaring ball into the box and found Ella Frischknecht open on the far post for a header into the back of the net.
The star of the match was senior goalkeeper Marnie Merritt, who made a season-high nine saves. The Aggies had the Ole Miss back line on their heels for most of the second half, but the Rebels were able to allow only one goal. Texas A&M forward Ally Watt capitalized off a failed clearance and put the ball right past Merritt for the equalizer in the 60th minute.
Texas A&M had no shortage of missed chances Friday night. The Aggies had an opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty from a handball in the Ole Miss box. The penalty kick attempt from the Aggies’ Addie McCain flew wide left in the 70th minute.
Merritt’s most impressive save came in the closing seconds of the match, as the Aggies sent a rocket towards the goal with a crowed box. Merritt punched the shot — which was the last of 28 shots put up by Texas A&M — out with a diving save.
Ole Miss is the first team to hold Ally Watt and the strong Texas A&M attack to one goal this season.
The Rebels have come out of a gauntlet of three top-25 matches in a row, managing a record of 1-1-1, which sets them toward the top of the SEC rankings. The most challenging string of matches during this season’s conference slate might be behind the Rebels, but the road to the postseason won’t be easy.
Ole Miss travels to Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday to take on the Missouri Tigers. The Tigers are 4-6-2 this season, with their only conference win against Kentucky, which is the lowest-ranked team in the conference.
The Rebels are hoping to gain three points against a struggling Missouri team on Thursday to gather extra confidence before they face the conference-leading Arkansas Razorbacks in Oxford on Sunday.