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

Soccer rebounds with 3-1 win in SEC opener

MaKayla Waldner and the Mississippi State University (7-1-1, 1-1 SEC) soccer rebounded from their SEC opening loss to Arkansas with a 3-1 home win against the University of Missouri (5-5-1, 1-1 SEC).

MSU got off to a fast start, scoring 2 goals within the first 25 minutes. 

Mizzou’s lone score of the night came on freshman forward Tess Rellihan’s goal in the 70th minute. But even then, MSU remained in control of the game. The stats do not reflect the Bulldog’s true dominance though; there was an energy to this team that was not present in their previous two games. Waldner explained it afterwards.

“This week we worked on being the more mentally tough team and I feel like that definitely translated into our game today,” Waldner said. “We came out here and we scored in the first half and you can tell our team really strived during this week. It was a tough week but it paid off.”

After the game against South Alabama, coach Tom Anagnost said MSU had to become more opportunistic in scoring. While MSU took 24 shots and Mizzou took 19, MSU only topped Mizzou’s number of shots on goal by one.  

“We really generated enough to put the game away and great teams can do that,” Anagnost said. “We definitely had some very dangerous good scoring chances that we just didn’t put in. You can’t score all of them but I think our kids did well enough and that shows the characteristics of a good team.”

Sophomore Waldner, one of the stars of this season, now has five goals on the season after scoring two tonight. 

“I am learning more about where to go and where to be, and the right placement of where to hit my shots,” Waldner said. “It’s been a growth area for me this year. After freshman year, I realized I needed to work on some things and so I really focused on that during the summer and I translated that into my game pretty well.”

Anagnost praised Waldner as well. 

“She was really focused and it was very noticeable by everybody and so it wasn’t a surprise that she played the way she did,” Anagnost said.

Waldner is from Missouri and talked after the game about the extra motivation it gave her playing against the team who is popular in her hometown.

 “It lights a fire in me,” Waldner said. “it’s nice to show them that they missed out on someone from their home state. it was nice to come out here and beat them.”

MSU plays LSU (7-1-1, 0-1-1 SEC) at 3 p.m. on Sept. 24 in Baton Rouge and both Waldner and Anagnost focused on their need to quickly recover, and Waldner acknowledged the challenge of playing in the SEC.

“We are just trying to focus on getting a fast recover, any SEC game on a Sunday is a tough game, that’s when the team comes out and whoever is the most mentally tough will win the game,” Waldner said.

SECNetwork+ will stream the game live. MSU’s next home game is at 7 p.m. on Sept. 29 against Auburn.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Soccer rebounds with 3-1 win in SEC opener