STARKVILLE, MISS. - The Mississippi State soccer team looks to rebound from two season-opening losses when they take on Charlotte and Gardner-Webb this week. MSU will face Charlotte Friday night at 6:00 p.m. (CDT) before battling Gardner-Webb, Sunday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT).
Despite outplaying their opponents, the Bulldogs fell to Sam Houston State, 1-0, and Rice, 3-2, to open the season. The Bulldogs peppered SHSU with 27 shots, but could not find the back of the net. Against Rice, Mississippi State dominated the first 50 minutes of the game, taking the play to the No. 9 regionally ranked team, and held a 2-0 lead early in he second half on goals by Heather Buttrey (first career goal) and Treena Ferguson. But MSU could not hold on, as Rice's experience was too much.
MSU faces Charlotte for the second time in its history on Friday. Last season, State defeated the 49ers, 2-1 in Starkville on Marlyce Stein's first collegiate goal. The Bulldogs face Gardner-Webb for the first time ever. It is the third time in four matches that State will play an opponent that it never faced before.
Ferguson leads the team with seven shots and two points. Katelyn Graben and Heidi Ondra are right behind her with six shots apiece.
The game against to Charlotte will be a homecoming for freshman Heather Buttrey. The defender/midfielder starred at Providence Senior High School, leading her school to the state Quarterfinals and a Top 5 state ranking.
Mississippi State opens its 2006 home schedule Friday, Sept. 8 hosting Memphis at the MSU Soccer Field before taking on in-state rival Southern Miss.