After missing out on the SEC tournament last season with a loss to Tennessee in their final game, the Ole Miss Rebels soccer team is comfortably in the running this season. The Rebels are the third seed and will take on sixth-seeded Texas A&M at 2:30 C.T. Wednesday afternoon.
Ole Miss is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Vanderbilt in the final game of the regular season. The Aggies will be looking for revenge after the Rebels handed them their first home loss of the season by a score of 4-3 on October 25. Texas A&M finished their regular season with a 1-1 draw against the Missouri Tigers in Columbia.
The Rebel offense needs to get back on track after the Commodores took an extremely defensive approach against them that ended up working. The Ole Miss offense was out of rhythm all night, frustrated by the clogged passing lanes.
“We played right into their hands,” Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott said after the loss. “They sat in really deep and looked to counter, and they had one good chance and they scored it. It’s disappointing to finish this way, but we’ve got to bounce back and get ready.”
Leading the offense in Orange Beach, Ala. will be senior forward Addie Forbus and freshman forward CeCe Kizer, who were both named to the All-SEC first team Sunday. Kizer was also named SEC Freshman of the Year.
The Rebel defense will have their hands full against a potent Texas A&M offense, led by sophomore forward Haley Pounds, an All-SEC second teamer, and freshman forward Ally Watt, a U.S. U-20 national team player. Pounds has 11 goals on the season, and Watt’s speed has presented plenty of problems for back lines across the SEC. Watt was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
The Aggies are fourth in the conference in scoring, averaging almost two goals per game. Although the Rebel defense is eleventh in goals against average, allowing 1.81 per game, they do have four shutouts, which is second in the conference.
The Rebel defense is anchored by senior Jessica Hiskey, who was voted to the All-SEC second team.
When the teams previously met, it was a wild back and forth affair in windy conditions at College Station.
The Rebels got on the board in the second minute through junior midfielder Gretchen Harknett, then the Aggies answered in the twentieth minute with a great strike from sophomore midfielder Mikaela Harvey. Ole Miss took the lead right back in the twenty-third minute as Forbus knocked in a cross from senior midfielder Olivia Harrison. Texas A&M tied the match and then took the lead on the other side of halftime with two goals from Pounds, but Kizer scored twice in the span of two minutes to give the Rebels the victory.
Just as in their previous meeting, this game will be an excellent match between two talented teams.
Should the Rebels win, they will advance to play the winner of LSU and Missouri on Friday.