Memphis, TN – Ole Miss head soccer coach Matthew Mott knows how tough it is for any team to play against opponents on the road, which is why at halftime of the Rebels’ road game against Memphis he told his team to stick it out and fight through it.
Ole Miss (6-2-2, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) has faced adversity numerous times this season, already having played in three overtime games with a record of 1-0-2. But the Rebels didn’t fold, thanks to freshman forward CeCe Kizer who scored the game-winning goal in overtime to help Ole Miss defeat the Tigers (4-3-1) 2-1 on Sunday night at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
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Kizer’s game-winner was a rebound off a shot attempt from Addie Forbus, who scored the lone goal in the team’s 4-1 loss at No. 11 Florida on Friday night and is second on the team in goals (6). As a team, the Rebels had 15 shot attempts and three corner kicks.
Freshman goalkeeper Marnie Merritt had five saves and Ole Miss finished its non-conference schedule undefeated (6-0-2).
The Rebels are now 10-6-2 all-time against Memphis, and the Tigers’ head coach Brooks Monaghan falls to 6-6-1 all-time against Ole Miss in his 15th year of coaching for the program. Things were looking good for Memphis when forward Marie Levasseur scored the game’s first goal at the 8th minute from a free kick from forward Elysia Masters that flicked on a header by Valerie Sanderson.
But, the Tigers, who begin American Athletic Conference play on Thursday against Tulsa, weren’t able to muster together another solid offensive performance and finished the game with nine shot attempts and four corner kicks.
The Rebels’ offensive rhythm wasn’t where Mott wanted it to be, but he was happy with how his team fought to the end, which he felt was the primary reason his team got the victory.
“It’s just so hard on the road and it’s a rivalry game; it’s a big rivalry game for us,” Mott said. “So that makes it hard always and it always seem you’re missing a couple, everything is a little tensed, but I’m really happy with the way the team rebounded.”
Kizer, who has nine goals on the season to lead the team, tied the game at one apiece with a swift goal at the 64th minute. Her success has been coming from all angles, but Kizer hasn’t seemed to notice her accomplishments.
“I am really lucky to be on such a great team and I feel really blessed with the position I have been put in,” Kizer said. “I’m happy to be scoring goals for the team.”
Next Up: Ole Miss will resume conference play in the SEC on Friday night when the Rebels host Alabama followed by a Sunday night matchup against LSU. Both games will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and can be seen on the SEC Network.
(Feature image credit: Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)