Ole Miss Soccer begins SEC Tournament with match against Arkansas

Posted on Oct 30 2018 - 5:50am by Josh Clayton

Ole Miss Soccer’s postseason push begins as the Rebels meet the Arkansas Razorbacks in an SEC Tournament quarterfinal matchup at 7:30 p.m Tuesday.

The Rebels claimed the No. 5 seed and a first round bye in the tournament with home wins over ranked opponents Mississippi State and Vanderbilt to finish the regular season. The club will try to carry that momentum over to Orange Beach, Alabama, this week in the SEC Tournament.

The meeting between Ole Miss and Arkansas is anticipated to be one of the closest in the round, headlining the four matches today.

CeCe Kizer dribbles the ball downfield attempting to shake off a Mississippi State defender earlier this season. Ole Miss won the game 2-0. File photo by Christian Johnson

The Rebels can go into tonight’s match with confidence against the No. 4 seed Razorbacks looking back at their convincing win over the team earlier this month. Ole Miss handed Arkansas its second conference loss of the season by a margin of 3-1.

The match was never in doubt with goals from Lonnie Mulligan and Channing Foster, as well as a late game dagger from CeCe Kizer. Freshman goalkeeper Morgan McAslan also delivered a strong performance, replacing the injured Marnie Merritt and saving a one-on-one shot on goal in the 27th minute that would’ve given the Razorbacks an early lead.

With a win tonight, the Rebels would advance to play the winner of No. 8 seed Florida and No. 1 seed Vanderbilt, the regular season conference champions, in the semifinals on Thursday. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the Women’s College Cup, which decides the national champion.

Even if the Rebels leave Orange Beach without the trophy, the club presents an impressive resume to the College Cup selection committee. Ole Miss holds three wins over top 25 teams this season and handed Vanderbilt its only conference loss to this point.

The Rebels sit on the right side of the bubble with an RPI ranking of 52, which would improve after the upset over Vanderbilt. A top-10 win and strong showing in Orange Beach should be enough to give Ole Miss a spot in the field of 64.

Ole Miss has found a way to consistently win big matches, including a three-game win streak to finish the season, and will need more of that going into the postseason.

“It’s an exciting time for sure,” head coach Matt Mott said. “Certainly, you’re most excited to get down into the SEC Tournament. We’re going to have a good seed, so it’s time to make some noise.”

This week will be crucial for an Ole Miss team looking to make a splash in the SEC tournament, and ultimately the Women’s College Cup. The SEC Tournament Championship will be played Sunday, Nov. 4, and the bracket for the NCAA tournament will be announced the following day.