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Soccer takes undefeated record on the road

Petre Thomas/The Daily Mississippian

 

Fresh off their first 3-0 start since 2005, the Rebels take their undefeated record to Auburn, Ala., for a pair of tough road games this Labor Day weekend. 

These 270 minutes of shutout defense, led by reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Week senior goalkeeper Alley Ronaldi, were the longest since the first three games of the 2003 season. 

“Alley is playing great,” Mott said. “She is in great form and (has) really taken that leadership role back there, and she is really on her game right now.”

In the first game this weekend, the opponent is Wright State, followed by the headliner of the weekend slate, No. 9 Duke, in Sunday’s matchup.

The Raiders of Wright State (3-1) enter the tournament coming off a close loss to nationally-ranked Ohio State last Sunday.

Wright State has allowed only three goals this season, and head coach Matt Mott will not be looking forward to the Duke game, knowing it will be a tough one.

“Wright State is a very well-coached team,” Mott said. “They have six seniors and a great goalkeeper, so we are going to have to be at our best Friday night. 

They will be dangerous and very organized. They don’t give up a lot of goals. They’re going to be a team where we have to be at our best to perform against them.”

After an upset victory over then-No. 1 Notre Dame, the Duke Blue Devils (4-0) are ranked No. 9 in the NSCAA Coaches’ Poll and No. 5 in the Soccer America Poll. 

A Final 16 team last season, Duke has allowed only one goal through in its first four games. 

Coach Mott knows this is a huge game and a great opportunity for his team.

“It’s a lot of fun to play against a team like that and to really measure yourself of where we are at this stage of the season,” Mott said.

The players also know this is an important and challenging weekend for the team.

“We are really excited,” sophomore forward Erin Emerson said. “They are both good teams. We are playing and it will be good competition for us.”