STARKVILLE, Miss. - To tee off the 2011-12 season, the Mississippi State men's golf team travels to Hattiesburg for the Sam Hall Intercollegiate at the par-71, 6,882-yard Hattiesburg Country Club.
Led by two seniors, the Bulldogs' lineup features both experience and youth. Seniors Lee Heaton and Alex Rowland look to help guide sophomores Axel Boasson, Chad Ramey and Tyler Smith in the two-day, three-round event.
Rowland looks to continue his strong play from the summer circuit when he earned appearances in the prestigious Southern Amateur and U.S. Amateur, and Ramey will rely on his play in last year's edition of the tournament when he fired a 5-under-par 208, including a season-best 68 in the second round.
The 15-team field pits the Bulldogs against in-state rivals Ole Miss and host-Southern Miss. Other teams include Arkansas State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Monroe, McNeese State, Memphis, Rice, Sam Houston State, South Alabama, Southeastern Louisiana and UAB.
"We expect a win out of this tournament. I feel like we have a team that is very capable of winning this event for the first time," MSU coach Clay Homan said. "We have the experience we need, finally. Lee (Heaton) is very experienced on the course, and Alex (Rowland) is a solid player coming off a great summer. Chad (Ramey) had our best qualifying score so we are seeing a lot of great numbers across the board."
Live stats will be available through www.mstateathletics.com. Fans can follow Mississippi State Golf on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mstateMG and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mstateWG.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Jasmine Simmons hit the tying goal with 24 seconds remaining and assisted on senior Tarah Henderson's golden goal as the Mississippi State soccer team rallied to defeat Lipscomb 2-1 in overtime in the Bulldog Classic championship game Sunday afternoon at the MSU Soccer Field.
Simmons' goal, her first of the season, came after the Bulldogs had missed on numerous equalizing opportunities in the second half.
With the clock winding down, freshman Shannen Jainudeen played a ball over the top of the Lipscomb defensive line. Simmons out-ran her defender and lined the tying shot into the left side of the net with 24 seconds remaining.
"It was very exciting, almost a surreal feeling. Shannen played a great ball in, and I just hit it and it went in," Simmons said.
After the Oklahoma City native tied the game, Mississippi State wasted no time in hitting the golden goal. Just 1:41 into the overtime period, Simmons sent a kick across the field to sophomore Elisabeth Sullivan. Sullivan made a run toward the end line and delivered a beautifully-placed pass to Henderson for the one-timer past Lipscomb goalie Erin Zerio.
"It kind of felt like a drill," Henderson said of the winning goal. "The coaches always say they want to recreate the game, and what we work on in practice is pretty much what we did in the first minute of overtime."
Mississippi State claimed a pair of overtime victories on the weekend to improve to 3-3-0 on the season. Lipscomb fell to 2-4-1 with the loss.
Sullivan, a Memphis, Tenn., native, was credited with the winning assist in both of State's victories to earn MVP honors. Henderson, Simmons, Madison McKee and Morganne Grimes joined her on the all-tournament team.
"We really worked hard. The first half wasn't our best, but we came out stronger in the second half and it paid off," Sullivan said.
The furious second-half rally came after the Bulldogs fell behind 1-0 on a miscue in the 15th minute.
State's defense played a ball back to goalkeeper Skylar Rosson, but she was unable to clear the ball before Baylee Linnell put it in the goal for the 1-0 advantage.
Rosson finished the match with two saves.
"I thought we were very flat in the first half, but we showed a tremendous amount of resolve," MSU head coach Neil Macdonald said. "The performance in the second half was outstanding. We created a ton of chances, but we weren't getting the break we needed. We kept battling and doing the right things, and we got the equalizer. I am really proud of the girls and the way they fought today."
After out-shooting the Lady Bisons 7-5 in the opening half, the Dawgs came out firing in the second stanza, claiming a dominating 15-2 advantage in the shots category. State peppered Zerio relentlessly, with nine of its 11 on-goal chances coming in the final 45 minutes.
Zerio, an all-tournament selection, stopped nine shots on the afternoon and 13 in the tournament.
In the 58th minute, freshman Dana Forbes was unable to angle a shot past Zerio. Five minutes later, Simmons found the ball at her feet in front of the net, but Zerio made a pair of stops to preserve Lipscomb's 1-0 lead.
Forbes put another shot on target in between a pair of Sullivan attempts that Zerio managed to save.
Zerio denied Simmons again in the 87th minute, but MSU's junior forward prevailed two minutes later as she scored the equalizer.
The Bulldogs face a quick turn-around as they travel to Hattiesburg on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. first kick against Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 2-1 on Sunday after falling 3-1 to Lipscomb in Friday's Bulldog Classic opener.