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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

White hot MSU soccer defeats No. 14 Arkansas

Kathryn Beatty | The Reflector

 MSU’s win against the Hogs was the first top-15 win for the program under Bulldog head coach James Armstrong.

Mississippi State University soccer opened conference play with a huge upset over the University of Arkansas by a score of 2-0 on Friday night. 

Prior to the start of the match, the Bulldogs memorialized the 50th Anniversary of Title IX. The ladies sported special Title IX jerseys before changing into their usual Maroon and White. 

KK Pavatt, a junior from Conway, Arkansas, made her first start of the season as MSU utilized their bench to battle injury. Some hard-hits-turned-injuries plagued the Bulldogs during the Arkansas match as well.

Freshman forward Maggie Wadsworth spoke after the win on Friday about how the team is battling the adversity.

“We hope we don’t take any more hits that are too bad,” Wadsworth said. “Thankfully, we have a very deep bench, and everyone is stepping up to the challenge.”

The two teams played a rather uneventful first half, until the 25-minute mark, as Wadsworth netted one goal with a swift kick past the Arkansas goalkeeper. Wadsworth was named SEC Freshman of the Week last week and undoubtedly defended her title during the game.

After the upset against the 14th ranked team in the country, Wadsworth said the goal of the game was to make a statement.

“I am just speechless, this hasn’t hit me yet,” Wadsworth said as she searched to find words. “In the locker room, we talked about coming out here and making a statement, and I think we did just that tonight.”

The squads suffered a yellow card during the first half due to unsporting. Wadsworth’s goal would remain unanswered, closing out the first half with MSU on top.

During the second half of the match, the Bulldogs and the Razorbacks possessed the ball equally. MSU had possession of the ball over half of the time in the first.

MSU soccer head coach James Armstrong spoke to the press after the win about the time of possession.

“This game is one of those where possession is not the end all be all, it was a fiercely contested battle,” Armstrong said. “If we had 55% possession in the first half, I am happy with that.”

With time winding down in the second half, graduate student Jojo Ngongo passed to Wadsworth. Wadsworth found an opening and acted quickly. The goal resulted in a Bulldog upset over Arkansas.

Mississippi State walked away victorious over the ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. The Bulldog’s goalkeeper, Maddy Anderson left with MSU’s career-shutout record in her name. The record stood for nearly a decade, and Anderson shattered it with her 13th career shutout. 

The win over Arkansas gave Coach Armstrong his first win over a top-15 ranked team. 

After the big win against the Hogs, Coach Armstrong said he’s proud of the team’s performance as a whole.

“It is impossible to single anybody out. As a coaching staff, we are proud of everyone tonight,” Armstrong said. 

The win sparked a post-game rally on the field among the team. The ladies ran to cling onto their beloved goalkeeper, celebrating her accomplishment. Fans watched as the Bulldogs ended their night under the lights after the special win. 

MSU soccer will look to remain undefeated as they travel to College Station, Texas. They will meet Texas A&M Thursday at 7 p.m.

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White hot MSU soccer defeats No. 14 Arkansas