"I think we responded (from Friday), but we still have a ways to go to get better. We needed a response, and Dana Forbes gave us one early. She had to make a great tackle and she made it. She put in a great pass, and Annebel was there to take it down nicely," Aaron Gordon said. "We had the desire and belief that we needed."
Sullivan scored her second goal of the season in the 15th minute, then set the points record with her third goal of the year less than two minutes later. The Memphis native claimed the 64th point of her career, breaking the previous standard of 62 held by Jessi Moore since the 2002 campaign.
"(Elisabeth) Sullivan is a proven goal scorer not only for this program, but for our league," Gordon said. "As she and Annebel build some chemistry, (Elisabeth) will have an opportunity to smash the all-time scoring record. Annebel has great vision and is a great passer of the ball, and Sully will be the benefactor of that."
Sullivan's pair of scores clinched the contest after freshman Annebel ten Broeke, who collected five points on the afternoon, scored her first collegiate goal in the 2nd minute.
The Amsterdam, Netherlands, native took passes from Dana Forbes and Addie Tomlin, made a step past the keeper and put the ball into the empty net for the third-fastest goal in MSU history.
The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 15th minute as Sullivan struck the first of her two goals. Shannon Palmer connected with ten Broeke, who slotted a pass through the defense that Sullivan ran onto and delivered to the far post.
Sullivan set the career points standard moments later as she dribbled between a pair of Arkansas State defenders and put a shot just inside the back post.
"We knew that we had to come back strong today. We really started connecting some passes, and that created a momentum to the game that helped us," Sullivan said.
"It feels really good and I'm honored," Sullivan said of setting the career points mark. "The first (goal) was a through pass that I ran on to and hit in the right corner. The second one I had two defenders on me and I beat them and hit it in the right corner again."
The Bulldogs made the lead hold as they took the 3-0 advantage to halftime.
Ten Broeke capped the scoring at the 58-minute mark off a 19-yard free kick. Sullivan was fouled on a run toward the ASU goal, and ten Broeke beat Arkansas State starting keeper Michaela Supple with a low shot into the right side of goal.
"We all agreed that we had to do better than Friday. Our chemistry was much better today knowing we had to win the game," ten Broeke said. "We started great. When we had the ball we immediately scored, and we were able to build off that. Some parts of the game were better than others, but we are improving."
Senior C.J. Winship stopped one shot in the opening half and freshman Meara Johnson added four second-half saves as the two combined for the blank sheet.
Supple stopped six shots in 64 minutes for Arkansas State. Amanda Lee played the final 26 minutes, making five stops.
The Bulldog offense posted double-digit shots in each half to take a 26-18 advantage. State put 15 of its opportunities on goal, while the Red Wolves managed to put just five attempts on frame.
Gordon's side opens a four-match road swing next weekend, traveling to Fort Myers, Fla., for the Embassy Suites Classic. The Dawgs face Florida Atlantic at 3:30 p.m. CST on Friday before wrapping the weekend with a noon Sunday opening kick against host Florida Gulf Coast.
1. 1:10 MSU Annebel ten Broeke (1) (Dana Forbes;Addie Tomlin) - Dribbles around keeper after cross from left and shoots in empty net
2. 14:39 MSU Elisabeth Sullivan (2) (Shannon Palmer;Annebel ten Broeke) - Pass through defense on left and shot by keeper at far post
3. 16:15 MSU Elisabeth Sullivan (3) (unassisted) - Dribbles past defense and shoots past keeper at back post
4. 58:00 MSU Annebel ten Broeke (2) (unassisted) - Free kick from 19 yards away shot low to far post
Shots: Arkansas State 18, Mississippi State 26
Saves: Arkansas State 11 (Supple, Michaela 6; Lee, Amanda 5), Mississippi State 5 (Meara Johnson 4; CJ Winship 1)