MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - After falling behind 2-0 to Western Kentucky (2-0-0), Mississippi State (2-1-0) made a valiant come back attempt. However, it fell short, and the Bulldogs fell to WKU, 2-1 at the MTSU Soccer Tournament.
Mississippi State began the game by keeping the ball in the offensive end, recording three quick shots in the first five minutes, but failing to put the ball in the net. After holding off State's attack, WKU capitalized on its first scoring opportunity. Kristin Cocchiarella sent a header into the right corner off of Alicia Dalby's corner kick for the 1-0 lead jus 5:29 into the game.
Ten minutes later, Katelyn Graben broke up the middle of the field sending a shot on net from 25 yards out, but Hilltopper netminder Meredith Goodson made the save.
At the 25 minute mark, Treena Ferguson took a pass from Graben, and after breaking down the right side, sent a pass from the right box towards the net. But Jessica Davis's attempt went wide, keeping the deficit at one.
The teams traded shots for the rest of the half, but neither could score, and Mississippi State went into halftime down 1-0. The Hilltoppers outshot MSU in the first half, 11-8.
In the second half, Western Kentucky again struck early. Megan Meinke dribbled down the right side towards the net, then passed in front to Mallory Outerbridge who tapped the ball into the net just over three minutes in, giving WKU the 2-0 lead.
Seconds later, State came inches from getting on the board. Bethany Frazier drilled a shot from 40 yards away off the crossbar.
Fives minutes later, Frazier made it count. Ferguson brought the ball up the middle, dumping it off to Frazier. After spinning around to lose the defender, Frazier sent a shot from 35 yards out. Goodson was in position to corral it, but the ball snuck under her into the right corner, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Mississippi State had a golden opportunity to tie the game with 23 minutes remaining. Frazier took a free kick and Goodson came out to make the save. But she overran the ball, and it fell in front of Ferguson, who attempted to put it just under the crossbar. However, Goodson got back and got a hand on it, sending it over the net.
The Bulldogs kept the pressure on, repeatedly peppering the WKU net, but could tie it up.
Mississippi State returns to action this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (CT) when it closes out the tournament against host Middle Tennessee State.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Mississippi State (4-3) hit at a season-best .318 clip and senior Jamie Joyner delivered 15 kills Friday afternoon to lead the Bulldogs to a quick 3-0 win over Nicholls State (2-7) at the University of Memphis Invitational. State topped Nicholls State 30-21, 30-23 and 30-19, trailing just twice in the match that last an hour and 19 minutes.
The win was the 50th at Mississippi State for fourth-year MSU head volleyball coach Tina Seals.
State never trailed in cruising to a 30-21 win in the opening set. Joyner collected six of her match-high 15 kills. The Bulldogs hit .300 in game one and took command of early, sprinting to an 11-4.
Nicholls State hung close in the second stanza and took their first lead of the match at 18-17 on a kill by Kindra Halverson. Joyner delivered a kill that put the Bulldogs on top at 22-21 as State out-pointed NSU 8-2 down the stretch for a 30-23 win and a 2-0 match lead at the break.
The Bulldogs wasted little time in taking command of the match-deciding third game. The second kill of the set by freshman Meaghan Schlueter gave State a 9-1 edge and State posted a .379 hitting percentage in nailing down the match win. Schlueter finished with a season-best five kills and freshman Miranda Bauman, in her MSU debut, recorded State's final three kills of State's 30-19 win in game three.
Cristina Jucan had six kills, Eva Kriegel, Lauren Kowal and Schlueter five each, Ioana Demian four and Ashley Newsome and Bauman three apiece. Newsome paced State at the net with three blocks while freshman walk-on Kayla Woodard, making her third start of the season, tallied a team-leading eight digs.
Senior middle Erin Seago, still slowed by a foot injury, missed her first start of the season.
The Bulldogs conclude play in the Memphis Invitational Saturday, testing Austin Peay at 11:30 a.m. before facing host Memphis at 7 p.m.
Starkville, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's golf team will open up its 2007 fall season Sunday as they travel to Charleston, S.C. to compete in the Cougar Classic. The three-day tournament will take place at the par-72, 6,159 yard Yeaman's Hall Golf Club.
"This first event comes very early in our season with only having one week of practice and then a week and a half of qualifying for the top positions on the travel squad," said MSU head coach Christi Sanders. "However, I am very optimistic because of the good performances in qualifying thus far."
Senior Julia Huh is the returning leader for the Lady Bulldogs as she finished last season with a 78.50 stroke average. Also helping fill the lineup for the first tournament are a pair of sophomores in Suzanne Stanley and Gina Sharp. Both earned invaluable experience in their rookie seasons last year as Stanley played in eight events while Sharp competed in six. Playing in the other two spots in the lineup to open the season are freshmen Erika Thornton from Knoxville, Tenn., and Mallory Batson of Gadsden, Ala.
In the field of 19 teams that MSU will join, 12 played in last season's NCAA Regional including seven that finished ranked in the top-30 nationally. Play will begin Sunday and Monday at 6:40 a.m. CT and will conclude with a shotgun start on Tuesday at 8 a.m. CT.