With two of the Southeastern Conference’s most potent offenses on display, No. 24 Ole Miss (9-3-1, 2-3 SEC) and No. 21 Tennessee (11-1-1, 3-1-1 SE) did not disappoint Thursday night at Regal Stadium as the Rebels dropped a 6-4 result in a back-and-forth affair.
The Volunteers opened scoring in the eighth minute somewhat controversially. After Channing Foster was dispossessed on a no-call that left the Rebel bench scratching their heads, Anna Bialczak found Bunny Shaw in front of goal and Shaw calmly slid a shot just inside the left post.
Less than a minute later, Tennessee doubled the advantage after a corner kick pin balled around the box and was headed in by Bialczak. The onslaught continued in the 23rd minute as Rylie O’Keefe netted a third for the Vols.
With the Rebels in desperate need of a turn in the tide, Grace Johnson came through in the 24th minute. Foster whipped in a dangerous corner to get the chance started and CeCe Kizer headed the ball down onto the right foot of Johnson. The freshman didn’t waste the opportunity, banging home her third goal of the season. The finish gave Ole Miss some life, sending the Rebels into the break down 3-1.
Ole Miss needed to come out of the gates firing in the second half but instead it was Tennessee that netted an early goal on a brace from O’Keefe, extending the advantage to 4-1.
The Rebels wasted no time in cutting the deficit back down to a pair as Foster collected a ball in front of goal and buried the chance in the 52nd minute. Just under four minutes later the Volunteer lead was down to one when Kizer headed home her 11th goal from a Bella Fiorenzo corner.
The momentum shifted back to the Volunteers quickly as Bialczak slotted home a goal from the middle of the 18-yard box and just like that the score was 5-3 in favor of Tennessee. The Volunteers went back up by three in the 75th minute after a headed goal by Danielle Marcano.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Ella Johnson whipped in a dangerous ball on a free kick that evaded the outstretched hand of keeper Shae Yanez and snuck under the bar, giving Johnson her first goal in a Rebel kit and setting up a comeback attempt for Ole Miss at 6-4.
The Rebels produced a few chances in the waning minutes but were unable to finish as the Volunteers earned the victory
Thursday night’s match marked the first time that Ole Miss allowed three first-half goals since the 2014 season. That year, UCF scored three times in the first half on the way to a 4-0 win in Orlando
The 10 total goals from both sides is a season-high for the Rebels, topping the total number of goals from the 8-0 Ole Miss wins over Alabama State, Northwestern State and Southern Miss
The 10 total goals scored is also the most in a game involving Ole Miss since 2001, an 11-0 Rebel victory over Alabama A&M
CeCe Kizer and Channing Foster each netted their 11th goals of the season to maintain the SEC lead
It was also the fifth game in which both Kizer and Foster have scored (Northwestern State, Southern Miss, Tulsa, Georgia)
The Rebels make a quick turnaround back home to Oxford, where they will host LSU Sunday in an afternoon tilt at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium at 2 p.m. CT.
Keep up with all the latest news and information on the Rebels by following Ole Miss Soccer on Twitter at @OleMissSoccer, on Facebook at Facebook.com/OleMissSoccer, and on Instagram at Instagram.com/officialolemisssoccer. Also, follow head coach Matt Mott on Twitter at @CoachMattMott. Additionally, fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss Athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
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