After starting off the season at a strong 3-1-0, the Ole Miss women’s soccer team will continue to test its talents with two non-conference games this upcoming weekend.
Ole Miss will take on High Point University at 7 p.m. Friday at home, followed by another home game at 6 p.m. Sunday against the University of Southern Mississippi.
The Rebels have started off the season with three shutouts and a tie against Michigan, who was ranked No. 23 at the time, which is a good start to the season, according to coach Matt Mott.
“It was a really good game, good crowd, good atmosphere, just a great college soccer game that is an NCAA-level game,” Mott said. “It was a great match, as we gave up a goal early on a corner kick and then really shut them down for the next 107 minutes.”
Ole Miss, who has never played against the Panthers, will definitely be tested this weekend by the High Point offense.
“It’s a tough team for us on Friday night,” Mott said in a press conference Monday. “They’re a very well-coached team, very organized and very tough to break down defensively.”
With a 2-2 record, High Point has only let up four goals so far this season, with games against other SEC teams such as South Carolina and Georgia under its belt.
After playing the Panthers on Friday night, Ole Miss will have a quick turnaround to take on the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss. This 3-0 team will also test the Rebels in a different way than High Point does.
“We play Southern Miss, who is currently undefeated, on Sunday,” Mott said. “So another in-state rivalry game that we are going to want to be prepared for.”
These two Mississippi teams have played each other six times in the past, with Ole Miss defeating Southern Miss every time. In the most recent game they played in 2011, which was also Mott’s first time playing Southern Miss, the Rebels defeated the Golden Eagles 2-0.
Mott is looking forward to how his defense will respond to both teams this upcoming weekend. Coming off of four clean sheets, the Rebels defense has certainly been something to hang their hat on.
“I am really happy with our back line and our defending,” Mott said. “That group has been very good and solid, and we are scoring some goals.”
In addition to their defensive prowess, the Rebels certainly have scored some goals this season. Having racked up 16 goals in their first two games, they defeated both Alabama State and Northwestern State by the score of 8-0. Their total goals for the season is already up to 20, which is quickly approaching their 24 goals from last season.
The games this weekend will be the last non-conference games before the Ole Miss Rebels compete in a tournament in Memphis, where they will get their first taste against SEC teams.