Facing an Arkansas side that sat second in the league table entering the match, the Ole Miss stepped up on Sunday, handing the Razorbacks their second SEC loss of the season by a 3-1 margin on an unseasonably warm afternoon at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
The Rebels (9-5-1, 3-2-1 SEC) came out of the match flying, creating a handful of excellent chances in the early stages of the first half. The two best opportunities came to Sydney Michalak in front of goal, one with her head and the other with her foot. However, both times the redshirt-freshman was turned away by Arkansas (9-3-2, 4-2-0 SEC) keeper.
While the Rebel offense impressed throughout the match, the play of freshman keeper Morgan McAslan also drew the eye. Being called upon in the 7th-minute after starter Marnie Merritt suffered a knock, the Ontario native demonstrated uncommon poise for a rookie.
McAslan’s biggest test of the match came in the 27th-minute when Tori Cannata broke free for a 1-on-1 with the keeper. Coming off of a brace on Thursday, Cannata was keen to score but McAslan came out quickly to make the save.
After seeing so many goalscoring chances go awry early, the Rebels put one away in the 32nd-minute, and in impressive fashion. Breaking on the counter, Ella Frischknecht hit CeCe Kizer with a pass and Kizer released the speedy Lonnie Mulligan with a through ball. At full speed, Mulligan hit it the first time, smashing a laser of a shot off the bar and in.
With the Rebels holding a 1-0 lead following the break, the next goal would be key to establish momentum in the second half. Ole Miss seized that momentum early as Channing Foster took a feed from Kizer and curled her shot inside the near post from 10 yards, doubling the lead.
Arkansas made a late push, scoring in the 82nd on Kayla McKeon’s sixth of the year. However, Kizer removed any thoughts of a comeback a couple of minutes later, burying a goal inside the near post to regain the two-goal lead and secure a big three points in Ole Miss’ race to Orange Beach.
With a big win in front of its home crowd in hand, Ole Miss hits the road for the next two weeks, traveling to Baton Rouge to take on LSU on Thursday before traveling to Kentucky the following Thursday. The matchup with LSU will be broadcasted to the nation, airing on the SEC Network.
Courtesy of Ole Miss SportsHERE!