Bulldogs, Iowa State Battle To Scoreless Deadlock

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Emily Meyers recorded nine saves en route to her fifth career shutout while her defensive teammates did a phenomenal job of denying visiting Iowa State's transition offense to help Mississippi State stretch its unbeaten streak in season openers out to six games with a scoreless tie Friday evening at the Mississippi State Soccer Field.

The tie upped MState's (0-0-1) record in season openers to 7-3-1, while the result snapped a two-game winning streak by the Cyclones (0-0-1) in the short three-game series. Meyers, who played her first season in goal last year for the Bulldogs, tallied eight or more saves for the fifth time in her career and moved into a tie for third on MSU's career shutouts with blanking number five.

"I thought we did very well, considering we started four freshmen tonight and a handful of others came off the bench for us," said Mississippi State head coach Neil Macdonald. "It was a great experience for all of the girls because we are so young and we got 110 minutes of soccer underneath our belts. Now they know what it takes to compete at this level.

Iowa State took the first four shots of the contest, but Mississippi State dove back into the game with quality chances over the next 10 minutes of play. Meghan Odom got State off the mark in the shots column with a blast in the 10th minute, but it was a pair of headers by Sara Moore in the 12th and 18th minutes, respectively, that got the Cyclones' attention.

The Maroon and White got its best chances in the last four minutes of the stanza. Betty Ann Casey, who played every minute of the outing, almost hooked up with rookie Caitlin Gallagher with a quality chance in the 42nd tick, then barely missed the foot of a sliding Kevyn Shelledy inches in front of goal three minutes later.

In the midst of a very balmy night in Starkville, Iowa State got the better end of a 9-3 shot advantage in the second half of play getting, quite possibly, their best chance to score in the 73rd minute of play when Kristina Baumann hit a shot across the goalmouth that Meyers dove to her right to snag.

The Cyclones got a handful of chances to score in the overtime periods and outshot the Bulldogs 6-1 in extra time, but none of the shots created an honest threat. Leslie Hill found Hannah Swanbom wide open at the top of the box in the 95th minute, but the freshman's cannon shot sailed well high of the MSU goal. Stephanie Kaphingst found a quality chance in the 106th minute, but found her scorcher blocked by Maroon and White defender Jessica Davis.

"We have a little bit of heart and a little bit of determination and you can't see those things in practice," Macdonald said. "You have to be in a competitive environment to see that and we showed it tonight."

Mississippi State will return to action on Sunday when the Bulldogs welcome regional foe Samford to Starkville in a 1 p.m. tilt at the MSU Soccer Field. Admission to all 2005 MSU Soccer home games is free.

At Starkville, Miss. (MSU Soccer Field)

Iowa State 0 0 0 0 - 0
Mississippi State 0 0 0 0 - 0

No Scoring. Shots: ISU 20 (Kaphingst 7), MSU 10 (Casey 4). Shots On Goal: ISU 12 (Kaphingst 4), MSU 3 (Three Players With 1). Saves: ISU 3 (Haig), MSU 12 (Meyers 9). Corner Kicks: ISU 10, MSU 1. Fouls: ISU 11, MSU 16. Cautions And Ejections: Ferguson, MSU (100:45). Offsides: ISU 1, MSU 0. Att. – 619.

Iowa State: Joanna Haig (GK), Kristina Baumann (F), Erin Witte (F), Renee de St. Aubin (M), Jess Villhauer (M), Amy Flores (F), Kate Kirwan (D), Deb Benakis (D), Stephanie Kaphingst (M), Amanda Purple (D), Beth Passman (D). Reserves: Brittanie Waddell, Hannah Swanbom, Maggie McManemin, Meghan Smith, Leslie Hill.

Mississippi State: Emily Meyers (GK), Sara Moore (M), Heather Ammann (D), Meredith Jacobson (D), Jessica Davis (D), Meghan Odom (M), Betty Ann Casey (F), Jennifer Turpin (D), Bethany Frazier (M), Ashlee Drake (M), Mariclaire Fancher (D). Reserves: Heidi Ondra, Caitlin Gallagher, Treena Ferguson, Marlyce Stein, Kevyn Shelledy.

Shots Taken
Iowa State: Kaphingst 7, Baumann 3, Hill 3, Witte 2, Flores 2, Swanbom 2, Smith 1. Mississippi State: Casey 4, Moore 2, Jacobson 1, Odom 1, Ondra 1, Shelledy 1.

Joanna Haig (ISU), 110:00, 3 Saves, 0 Goals; Emily Meyers (MSU), 9 Saves, 0 Goals.

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