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Soccer starts conference play at Arkansas, LSU

The Ole Miss soccer team (4-3-1) will begin Southeastern Conference play on the road this weekend.

The Ole Miss soccer team (4-3-1) will begin Southeastern Conference play on the road this weekend.
On Friday night, the team travels to Fayetteville to face the Razorbacks of Arkansas (2-5). Then the Rebels head south to Baton Rouge for a Sunday showdown against the Tigers of LSU (5-3-1).
“This is certainly the time of year we are looking forward to starting conference play,” head coach Matt Mott said.
“We are on a really tough road trip at Arkansas and LSU right off the bat with two Western Division teams that are really good and dangerous.”
Leading the offensive attack for the Rebels is sophomore Rafaelle Souza. Among SEC players, she is first in points (18) and tied for first in goals (7). In the goal, freshman Kelly McCormick made her first career start against UAB, and senior Alley Ronaldi is the school’s career leader in goals against average (0.89).
Last weekend, the road continued to be unkind to the Rebels, who lost to UAB in Birmingham Saturday. At home, Ole Miss is a perfect 3-0, while away from Oxford, the Rebels are 2-3-1. The Rebels look to turn things around with a struggling opponent in Arkansas.
Last season, the teams played to a 4-4 double-overtime thriller in Oxford. All-time, Ole Miss leads the series against Arkansas, 12-3-1.
Despite the Razorbacks’ record this season, Mott knows it will be a tough test for his team.
“Arkansas has some really dangerous front runners that have scored some goals, and we’ve got to be prepared for that,” he said.
With one day of rest and travel, the team knows it will have a difficult task when they face the LSU Tigers.
“Sunday at Baton Rouge is always difficult,” Mott said. “It’ll probably be hot, so we’ve got to be focused and mentally ready for that challenge because LSU is a very good team.”
LSU is on a roll after wins over McNeese State and Oklahoma this past weekend.
“LSU is a very well-coached team and organized; they’ve given up very few goals,” Mott said.
The Tigers lead the Rebels in the overall series, 7-6-4, and the teams played to a scoreless, double-overtime tie last year in Oxford.
Game time for Friday’s Arkansas match is set for 7 p.m., and Sunday’s LSU match is set for 1 p.m.