Ole Miss falls to Arkansas in SEC Tournament quarterfinals

Posted on Oct 31 2018 - 5:50am by Chance Robertson

Ole Miss fell 4-0 to Arkansas in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama, on Tuesday.

The game got off to a bad start for Ole Miss Soccer, conceding three goals in the opening seven minutes of the game. The first goal came from a corner kick that bounced around in the box and was put away by Arkansas’ Tori Cannata on the second effort. Next came an own-goal that came from a Rebel’s attempt to block a shot that deflected away from the outstretched arms of freshman goalkeeper Morgan McAslan.

The Razorbacks’ Taylor Malham was able to get it past McAslan on a one-on-one for the third goal despite great efforts from the keeper and defender, Grace Johnson, who nearly cleared the ball off the goal line.

CeCe Kizer almost got one back for the Rebels two minutes later putting an outside the box effort inches wide of the post.

“I thought we had a chance to get back in it in the first half once the barrage ended,” head coach Matt Mott said. “(We) created some really good chances and (they) just wouldn’t go in. They’ve been going in for us kind of all season and they didn’t go in (tonight), so that’s obviously disappointing.”

Gabby Little came on in the 24th minute and played an incredible ball that looked it had opened the scoring for the Rebels, but the goal was disallowed as it had crossed the byline before she whipped in the cross. The Rebels missed yet another opportunity to score when sophomore Channing Foster pulled a shot just left of the post two minutes after the disallowed goal.

Mary Kate Smith passes to a teammate during the game against Texas A&M earlier this season. Ole Miss and Texas tied the game 1-1. File photo by Christian Johnson

The Rebels had some excellent build-up play towards the end of the half, but a shot by senior defender Ella Frischknecht sailed over the crossbar following a pass from Lonnie Mulligan.

The Rebels showed hope again as McAslan made a difficult one-on-one save to start the second half and Kizer took a hard-driven shot in the 53rd minute, but it was right at the keeper who easily smothered the ball.

Arkansas would make it 4-0 in the 58th minute, and while the Rebels continued to fight, they could not find the goals to get them back into the game.

“I liked the way the team battled,” Mott said. “Now it’s on to the next one.”

This was not the way the team wanted to end their SEC season. However, despite what the scoreboard suggests, the Rebels were quite competitive in this game, creating multiple good scoring opportunities that just didn’t fall. The Rebels also had two goals scored against them off of unlucky deflections that changed the trajectory of the game in Arkansas’ favor.

The Ole Miss team came into this game riding a three-game win and clean sheet streak but was unable to keep the good results going. The Rebels are now hoping their regular season resume is strong enough to get them into the NCAA Women’s College Cup tournament as one of the 33 at-large teams. Ole Miss will find out its fate during the selection show on Nov. 5.

“I think we’re in a really good spot,” Mott said. “When you look at the body of work we’ve done a really good job. Now we have to wait and see what happens on Monday.”