"We did everything we needed to tonight except put the ball in the back of the net," said Mississippi State head coach Neil Macdonald. "I thought we played at a high intensity throughout and we competed from the opening whistle. Give credit to Memphis, they did what they needed to do to get the result, but I was very pleased with our play tonight nonetheless."
A tight game through the first 23 minutes of play, Memphis finally broke the deadlock at the 23:57 mark when Caroline Barrett got control of a loose ball after a scuffle inside the penalty area and found space to get a shot past Meyers for the advantage. Despite the advantage, MState would have the Tigers on its heels for much of the next 10 minutes of the contest before Sara Moore hit a through-pass to Marlyce Stein in space and the rookie connected on her first career score, outdoing a charging Isabel Briones for the Equalizer.
Coming out of the halftime gates on fire, high pressure would force shaky goalkeeping from Briones, but State was unable to take advantage. In spite of a myriad of fouls by the Tigers through the first 28 minutes of the second period, MSU would get the best chance for either team to score in the 73rd tick, but Memphis' bend-but-not-break defense would clamp tight on a breakaway chance by Betty Ann Casey to keep the score at a standstill.
Briones left her line on an attempted clearance nearly three minutes later, but badly missed a placekick. Stein took control of the ensuing loose ball and lofted a shot over Briones, who was scurrying back to her line, but the chance sailed just wide of the post. The Tigers got their first quality chance of the second period on Hayes' score at the 83:14 mark, then played possession-ball to deny MSU of any more chances.
Mississippi State will return to action on Sunday afternoon when the Bulldogs break up an eight-game road swing by hosting Charlotte (3-4-0) in a rare September home game at 1 p.m. Admission to all 2005 Mississippi State soccer home games is free.
At Memphis, Tenn. (Mike Rose Soccer Complex)
Mississippi State 1 0 - 1
Memphis 1 1 - 2
23:57 MEM Caroline Barrett (Nicky McLeod; Kylie Hayes)
33:12 MSU Marlyce Stein (Sara Moore)
83:14 MEM Kylie Hayes (Caroline Barrett)
Shots: MSU 13 (Casey 5), MEM 15 (Murphy, Mikami 3).
Shots On Goal: MSU 7 (Casey 3), MEM 6 (Mikami, Hayes 2).
Saves: MSU 4 (Meyers), MEM 6 (Briones).
Corner Kicks: MSU 3, MEM 5.
Fouls: MSU 14, MEM 12.
Offsides: MSU 3, MEM 3.
Cautions And Ejections: None.
Att. * 218.