Mississippi State Defeats Middle Tennessee 2-1

Mississippi State's soccer team, behind a two-goal performance by sophomore Heidi Ondra, defeated Middle Tennessee State in their season opener on the campus of MSU in front of a crowd of 587. This was Ondra's second multi-goal game of her college career. MSU is now 7-3 in their season openers. Next up for the Bulldogs is Northwestern State, 1 p.m. Sunday at home.

Q&A with MSU head coach Neil MacDonald

Were you satisfied with the effort of your team tonight?
"Absolutely. I thought in the first half we struggled a little bit. We had a lot of young players in the starting lineup and as we found our rhythm as the game went on, I thought we were outstanding in the second half. We dug in deep and showed a lot of character to win the game."

Where do you think your team needs to improve?
"General fitness. We are still not match-fit at the moment. We are getting there, but we aren't where we need to be. I think offensively we definitely need to keep working on the patterns that we have been practicing. When we lost the goal in the first half, we kind of lost our shape a little bit and allowed them to dominate for 15 to 20 minutes. That's something that we need to correct."

Which players impressed you with their play?
"I thought that (senior) April Berry was outstanding. April and (senior) KP (Kristin Peterson) in the center of the park won the game for us. Their transitions from offense to defense, the pressure they were getting on the ball in the second half made all the difference."

What are your thoughts on Middle Tennessee's team in general?
"I thought they were a very good team that was very well coached. They played a counter-attack game and they are very, very good at it. I give them all the credit in the world."

What do you know about your next opponent, Northwestern State?
"To be honest with you, we don't know too much about them because it's so early in the year. I'll talk to Ole Miss about them because they played them tonight and get a scouting report."

Are any of your girls injured?
"No, we are good to go."

Mary Ann Swindoll is the editor of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact her by email at maryannswindoll@genespage.com.

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