After securing a win against the LSU Tigers on Sunday, the Rebels will play at home on Friday, Oct. 3 in a match-up against rival Mississippi State for the Magnolia Cup.
Last year, the Rebels and the Bulldogs took home a draw after a battle between the two Mississippi teams led the Rebels to take home the Magnolia Cup for the sixth straight season. The teams totaled 13 shots with only two shots on goal from the Bulldogs. The lone goals were scored by Ole Miss’s Haleigh Stackpole and Mississippi State’s MaKayla Waldner.
“It should be a really good game,” head coach Matt Mott said in a press conference. “They tied Auburn their first game, then tied Alabama, too — two really good teams. So, it’s going to be a tough battle as it always is, but I like where our team is.”
The Rebels took home their win last weekend after cleaning up the defense and playing a slightly different strategy than usual with sophomore Mo O’Connor in the forward position first. Mott stressed the importance of playmakers Channing Foster and Stackpole, as well.
Traveling during this season is a new process with more buses, masks and plane rides. Mott explained the process of traveling to Louisiana this past weekend and said it was “much different” than previous years. The team traveled with 28 total staff and players, splitting two buses.
“We got to the hotel, and typically, our routine is to get to the sight, go there and practice,” Mott said. “We didn’t do that. We just went straight to the hotel and did just a little jog and stretch outside the hotel. We had our meal delivered to us, ate inside the hotel and had a quick meeting. Again, all wearing masks and all that kind of stuff.”
Mott said he was proud of the team members for working together to pull out a win, and he is looking forward to seeing the same outcome against Mississippi State this weekend.
“We did a much better job defending, and obviously, having a clean sheet was important,” Mott said. “We’re battling every single day. The guys in the back did a good job. I liked the way we moved the ball. We need to get the ball into our playmakers a little bit more in Channing Foster and Haleigh Stackpole and those guys. But, overall, I’m happy with where the team is and getting ready for State.”
Kickoff for the Magnolia Cup will start at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.