STARKVILLE, MISS. - Olivia O'Rear's goal with just over three minutes to play in double overtime gave SMU a 2-1 victory over Mississippi State Sunday afternoon at the MSU Soccer Field. MSU drops 1-6-0, while SMU moved to 5-2-1.
SMU took the play to the Bulldogs in the first period, keeping the play in the MState end of the field. In the 16th minute, the Mustangs struck. O'Rear dribbled down the left side of the field and fired a shot past MSU goalkeeper Stephanie Dallas for an early 1-0 advantage.
The Mustangs continued to pepper MSU with shots. However the stellar Bulldog defense stymied SMU, continually sending the ball out of its own zone.
MSU came out a different team in the second half. Four minutes into the half, junior forward Treena Ferguson scored her team-leading fourth goal on a shot from just inside the box, tying the game.
After an SMU foul, State had a chance to take the lead. Ferguson sent a cross over to Kevyn Shelledy, who headed the ball to Hannah Tyler in front of the net. But, Tyler's redirection sailed high over the net, and the game remained tied.
State continued its strong play in the first overtime period. The Bulldogs had their best opportunity to win the game two minutes in. After a fight for the ball, Shelledy ended up with it right in front of the net. Shelledy rocketed a shot past SMU netminder Ashley Gunter that hit the dead center of the right post.
Five minutes later, MSU again had the ball deep in Mustang territory. Ferguson sent a cross from the right side over to Shelledy in front of the net, and this time, she found the back of it. However, the officials called her for offsides, and play continued.
In the second overtime, the teams came out scrapping. SMU got a quick shot from Alissa Ireland, but it was blocked before it could reach the net. Six minutes later, Jena Lind sent the ball toward the net, and it was a race to see who could get it first. Dallas, while attempting to reach the ball, got knocked down, allowing O'Rear to slide the ball into the open net. In the end, SMU outshot the Bulldogs, 19-8.
"We were flat in the first half," said MSU head coach Neil Macdonald. "It took us awhile to get going. But, the second half we were a different team. We closed on the ball well and put good pressure on them. I felt like we really dominated the second half. We got a goal we deserved, and you could say that over the game we deserved to grab a second. We hit the post and had a couple of good chances. We just didn't quite put them away. They're (SMU) a quality program; a highly ranked program, and we should be proud of ourselves that we fought so hard against them. But it's just another learning experience for this young ballclub."
The Bulldogs open conference play next Friday against Georgia at 7:00 p.m. at the MSU Soccer Field. You can follow all the action live at www.mstateathletics.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State men's golf team returns to competition on Monday, Sept. 18 at the Callis Communications Intercollegiate in Mobile, Ala. The 54-hole event being hosted by the University of South Alabama continues thru Tuesday at Azalea City Golf Course.
The Bulldogs are coming off their best fall opener-finish last week at the Scenic City Invitational in Chattanooga, Tenn. MSU finished third behind Charlotte and region foe Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders of MTSU will join State in the event this week.
Azalea City Golf Course is a familiar one with MSU golf as it was the course where the Bulldogs last won a team title in 2005. State won the Homewood Suites Invitational in the spring of 2005 at the par 72, 6,850 yard course. This week's trip to Mobile, Ala. is the first of two that MState will make to the Alabama gulf coast city. The Maroon and White will participate in the South Alabama Spring Invitational next March.
The format for the event will be six players competing and counting the lowest four scores turned in after each round. MSU head coach Clay Homan will start sophomores Carlos Sainz, Jr., Noah Goldman, Matt Fast, Brian Mason and Logan Young. Greg Huxman is the lone senior in the line up. Sainz, Jr. led all State golfers last week with a seventh-place finish while Goldman, Fast and Huxman all placed 12th in the field. Mason and Young are making their first starts of the 2006 season.
Joining MSU in the field this week include – Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Belmont, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Mercer, Middle Tennessee State, South Alabama, South Florida, Southeastern Louisiana and West Florida.