OXFORD, MS – Ole Miss head soccer coach Matthew Mott always wants to jump out to an early start on his opponents, whether it’s at home or on the road. He just hopes his players will hear the message.
They must have heard it loud and clear as the 22nd-ranked Rebels defeated Northwestern State 3-0 Sunday night inside Ole Miss Soccer Stadium to open up the 2016 season 2-0. Ole Miss improves to 4-0 all-time against the Demons.
Senior forward Addie Forbus scored two goals in the second half to give the Rebels some breathing room. Forbus has four goals in the team’s first two games. After the game, Coach Mott described what Forbus means to the team.
Coach Matt Mott on Addie Forbus
Ole Miss picked up where it left from last season, jumping out early on offense. Senior forward Gretchen Harknett scored her first goal of the 2016 season with a strong left kick that landed in the right corner of the net at the 18:14 mark of the first 45 minutes.
The Rebels could have extended their lead and put Northwestern State (1-1) away early, but the Demons’ goalkeeper Alex Latham stood strong, swatting away everything in sight. She finished the game with 13 saves, bringing her total to 26 on the season.
Ole Miss’ sophomore goalkeeper Marnie Merritt had three saves – one in the first half, two in the second half – as the Rebels’ defense had her back for most of the night.
The Rebels held a 31-4 shot advantage on the night, with 16 of those shots on goal. Harknett led Ole Miss with 10 shot attempts. Forbus had seven. Patry Carrion led Northwestern State with two shot attempts. Camilla Ardila and April Trowbridge each had one apiece.
Afterwards, Mott laughed when people asked him about the 31 shot attempts his team put up, trying to remember if that has ever happened for the Rebels in his seven seasons as head coach.
“I think we have had some up there in that range,” Mott said. “The shots aren’t that important to me as the shots on goal. I’m happy we created that type of attack, but we’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to be a little cleaner in front of goal. We’ve got some things to clean up, but I’m happy with how we played tonight.”
Ole Miss will continue the early portion of the 2016 season at home next Friday night against Memphis. The Rebels defeated the Tigers on the road last season 2-1 in overtime.
Feature image credit: Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics