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 dawgs win in-state match up

    The Mississippi State soccer team hosted a pair of non-conference squads this weekend in their 2010 home opener. The Bulldogs sought to extend a 10-game winning streak against non-SEC foes going back to 2008.
    The Bulldogs (2-1) hoped to break a three-game losing skid to the UAB Blazers (1-2), a team that plays much tougher than its record suggests. With two streaks on the line, only one would continue after the match.
    Unfortunately for State, the non-conference winning streak ended, as UAB defeated the Bulldogs 3-0, led by junior forward Laura McCalla, who had two goals on as many shots.
    MSU sophomore keeper Skylar Rosson was called on nine times in the loss, blocking a career-high six shots. Head coach Neil Macdonald said Rosson played a good game in spite of the loss.
    “The goals were all defensive errors that happened further up the field,” he said. “[Rosson] got out of position a little bit on the second goal, but it was really due to what happened in front of her. Our back line was caught a little high, so she was high.”
    Fortunes were reversed when the Bulldogs defeated the Golden Eagles (1-1) by a 3-0 score on Sunday afternoon, in a game that started out in a light drizzling rain, but quickly heated up.
    Mississippi State rode into the match with a 3-game winning streak of their own against USM and a desire to atone for Friday’s loss. The Bulldogs jumped on the Golden Eagles early in the match when sophomore forward Jasmine Simmons scored on an assist from freshman forward Elisabeth Sullivan at the 16:18 mark.
    Sullivan added a score of her own at 31:48 to put MSU ahead 2-0 going into the break at the midway point.
    Rosson and her back line led by senior defender Leanna Baldner held USM at length for all of the second period, and sophomore midfielder Madison McKee knocked a header in the net on a pass from forward Rachel Wannek at 70:40 into the match.
    Macdonald said he was pleased with how his club bounced back after Friday’s loss.
    “I thought we played very well, particularly the first half,” he said. “They did everything we asked them to do, they moved the ball around well. They made good chances.”
    Macdonald praised his back line for turning back the Golden Eagles, who took 14 shots but only 5 on goal.
    “I thought Leanna Baldner today was absolutely outstanding,” he said. “From the minute the whistle blew, she was talking and organizing, and really limited the opportunities that Southern Miss had. Her leadership today was just phenomenal.”
    Rosson echoed her coach’s comments with her own high marks for the defense.
    “I was really happy with the game today,” she said. “Our defense played really well, so I didn’t have that much action because they did so good.”
    On the other end of the pitch, Sullivan credited better communication for the offensive success.
    “We started passing the ball around really well, and we started playing together,” she said. “It really helped to do that. We knew what we had to come out to do [today], so we just took care of it.”
    The Bulldogs take their new 1-0 streak on the road this Friday, with matches against Troy and South Alabama in the Trojan Classic in Troy, Ala.

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    Soccer dawgs win in-state match up