STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State closed out a three-match home stand Sunday afternoon with an impressive 3-1 win over Northwestern (La.) State in the finale of the 2008 Bulldog Classic presented by Holiday Inn Express.
The win moves MState to 2-1 on the season, while NSU drops to 1-2 overall.
"I thought we came out flat the first 20 minutes of the game," head coach Neil Macdonald said. "We found our rhythm after that and created a lot of chances again. We need to do a better job of executing, but at this stage of the season, we are proud of the win."
The Bulldogs put up 25 shots in the game, with 11 coming on goal. After falling behind in the first half Friday night, State jumped out to the early edge on Sunday, converting a goal at the 31:45 mark for a 1-0 lead. Mary Kate Ayers worked the ball along the right side and found fellow senior Kevyn Shelledy on the left side of the goal. The Tomball, Texas, native deposited her first goal of the season into the upper right corner of the net to put State on top.
MSU extended the lead to 2-0 at 63:22 as Heather Buttrey dribbled down the right sideline and delivered a cross into the box. Hadley Gable found herself on the receiving end of the pass and headed the shot past Demon goalkeeper Lindy Strahan for her first goal of the season.
State tacked on its final goal of the afternoon 10 minutes later. Off a Bulldog corner kick, freshman Serena Prendergast gathered a deflection off a Northwestern State player and put it in the net for the 3-0 lead with just under 18 minutes remaining.
Taryn Holland pulled in another outstanding effort in goal for State, stopping four shots after a six-save performance Friday night. Northwestern State's lone goal came in the 75th minute as Chelsea Brozgold scored on Haley Cheshier's pass.
State's next action comes in its first road trip of 2008. The Bulldogs venture to Fairfax, Va., next weekend to challenge Georgetown Friday at 2 p.m. CST and host George Mason Sunday at 10 a.m. CST.