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Kizer having fun, finding success in her freshman season for Ole Miss Soccer

Kizer having fun, finding success in her freshman season for Ole Miss Soccer

CeCe Kizer is truly enjoying her freshman season on the Ole Miss soccer team. When she’s on the field, she likes to call it “just having fun.”

Through her first six collegiate games, Kizer has been playing with a free spirit, downplaying the idea of being under pressure to be the leader for an Ole Miss Soccer team that’s undefeated through the first six games of the season for the fifth time in program history and second under head coach Matthew Mott.

Ole Miss Soccer tied #19 UCF 2-2 on September 4th, 2015. (Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics.)

Ole Miss Soccer tied #19 UCF 2-2 on September 4th, 2015. (Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics.)

Whether Kizer realizes it or not, she has become an important piece for the Rebels (4-0-2), who begin Southeastern Conference play on Friday night against Bluegrass foe Kentucky then host Louisville on Sunday.

Ole Miss played two stout games over the weekend, finishing in a 2-2 tie against No. 19 UCF and defeating Arkansas-Little Rock 1-0 in overtime, thanks to Kizer’s shot from 10 yards out from the right side of the box into the upper left side of the net.

In the tie against the Knights, Kizer’s goal came towards the end of the second half and vaulted the Rebels into the first overtime. After scoring goals against UCF and the Trojans, Kizer now leads the SEC with six goals, which includes three-game winning goals that also leads the conference.

Nationally, Kizer’s six goals rank her fifth, and she has averaged one goal per game, which ranks her sixth nationally—while her 12 total points are 13th in the country.

“CeCe (Kizer) has been great as a freshman with six goals already,” Mott said.

I think she has a knack for being in the right place and finding the ball and when she gets a chance, putting it on frame and that’s what she did. She put the ball on frame in the spot people couldn’t get to it, so you have to give a lot of credit to just her instinct of how to be dangerous. Matt Mott 

Despite having early success as a freshman in a conference that’s considered to be a solid league, Kizer is only thinking about preparing for the Wildcats (5-1), who extended their winning streak to four after defeating Ohio 3-0 on Sunday.

With less than two minutes remaining Kizer scored to send the game to overtime. (Photo credit: Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)

With less than two minutes remaining Kizer scored to send the game to overtime. (Photo credit: Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)

“I want to go into the first tackle opportunity that I have in that game; I’m just going to go hard into it and hope from there, I will build my confidence,” said Kizer, who admitted to being a little nervous about playing in her first conference game. “Once I get onto the field, I think the excitement will just help me in playing.”

Mott believes Kizer will continue to play the way she’s been playing and not worry about who the next opponent is on the schedule.

“When you step into conference play and now every game is worth three points, the intensity is way up and nobody really intimidates anybody,” Mott said. “It’s all about trying to get three points of the day.”

“We know Kentucky very well and they know us very well, so it will be a great game for us Friday night,” he added.

On Tuesday, Kizer was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Week, the first Rebel to do so since teammate Jessica Hiskey in 2012. She was also the first offensive player to collect a weekly accolade from the conference since Rafaelle Souza in 2013.

Here are the weekend match-ups for the Rebels:

Ole Miss (4-0-2) vs. No. 18 Kentucky (5-1-0)

Date: Sept. 11, 2015, 6 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Ole Miss Soccer Stadium
Capacity: 1,500
Television: SEC Network
Pete Pranica, play-by-play
Kate Markgraf, analyst
Live Stats: OleMissSports.com
Series: Series tied, 10-10-1
Last Game: Kentucky won, 3-0

Ole Miss (4-0-2) vs. Louisville (2-2-1)

Date: Sept. 13, 2015, 12 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Ole Miss Soccer Stadium
Capacity: 1,500
Television: SEC Network+
Richard Cross, play-by-play
Ian Banner, analyst
Live Stats: OleMissSports.com
Series: Louisville leads, 1-0
Last Game: Louisville won, 1-0

(Feature image credit: Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)

About The Author

Courtney Smith

Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men's basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.

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