The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Online Only: MSU soccer slips versus Bama, focuses on stellar weekend opponents

    The Mississippi State soccer team dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Alabama Tuesday night in a match that disappointed both coaches and players. The loss to the Crimson Tide (5-3, 1-0 in SEC) is the second in a row for the Bulldogs (8-2, 0-2 in SEC).
    The field still wore the scars from the match with Auburn last week, which would prove costly, as freshman goalkeeper Skylar Rosson making her first start, dove to block a strike from Alabama 23 minutes into the match. She stopped the shot but the thick, muddy turf under the goal would not release her cleats, wrenching the player’s knee and possibly ending her season.
    It was a repeat of 2008, which she redshirted after a knee injury in preseason.
    Senior goalkeeper Taryn Holland came in to relieve Rosson; but in the waning seconds of the first period, gave up the only score of the night when a deflection put the ball right in front of a Bama forward with Holland caught at the other end of the goal.
    MSU took 21 shots with 9 on goal, twice as many as Alabama’s 10 and 5, but made only one serious challenge in the box.
    A dissatisfied head coach Neil Macdonald said this was one the Bulldogs simply gave away.
    ” I don’t feel like we played anywhere near the quality of what we were capable of,” he said. “I watched the first eight or nine games that we played and the tempo and speed of play – we’ve dropped off considerably. It’s disappointing because we’re much better than what we showed.”
    Besides Rosson, several new faces got more playing time. When asked if he liked what he saw, Macdonald said the freshmen players did well.
    “I base the team on what I’ve seen in practice, and who’s getting it done,” he said. “Some of the younger players have really stepped up and they got a shot.”
    Macdonald said the team still needs an upperclassman to step up and be a leader, especially defensively.
    Senior midfielder Hannah Tyler, one of the anchors of the defensive line, echoed the coach’s concerns.
    “We needed leadership on the field, and we weren’t stepping up,” she said. “We just kind of panicked all over, individually and as a team.”
    Tyler said team organization, which comes from the defenders who can view the whole field, cost them the game.
    “Organization wasn’t up to par [Tuesday night]. Something like that can happen in two seconds,” she said, referring to the goal Alabama slipped in at the end of the first period.
    Junior midfielder Danielle Kite said the Bulldogs made a mental error on the score.
    “I think we just became a little relaxed with the last minute to go and they picked it up,” she said. “It was a crucial time in the last seconds of the half, and we switched off and didn’t shut down their goal scorers.”
    The Bulldogs had one chance to practice on Thursday before tonight’s 7 p.m. match against Florida (8-3, 2-0 in SEC). Macdonald said the Gators, ranked No. 8 in the nation, will be a tough challenge for MSU.
    “They’re usually very fast and athletic at all 11 positions, and we’re going to have to be organized as a unit to play against them,” he said.
    Looming just behind Florida is 7th-ranked, undefeated South Carolina (10-0, 2-0 in SEC). The Bulldogs will face the Gamecocks Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
    “They’re going to be incredibly tough and are a very intelligent team,” Macdonald said. “South Carolina plays great soccer and really moves the ball around. We’re going to have to sort out the defensive frailties we saw [Tuesday night].”
    The Bulldogs will close out the current home stand this weekend, before a long road stretch that will not see MSU return until Oct. 25 against Kentucky in State’s final home game of the season.

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Online Only: MSU soccer slips versus Bama, focuses on stellar weekend opponents