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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU soccer heads to second round of NCAA Tournament

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Noah Carpenter | The Reflector

The Mississippi State soccer team

The Mississippi State University women’s soccer team continues to make history and leave Bulldogs fans cheering with pride and admiration. 
For the second year in a row, the Bulldogs earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament after anxiously awaiting the “Selection Monday” process that placed MSU as the 6th seed for the tournament. 
Mississippi State hosted the first-round matchup in Starkville on Saturday against the Providence Friars. Bulldogs fans flooded into the MSU Soccer Field with high energy and high anticipation as Mississippi State met Providence on the pitch.
From the moment each team stepped onto the field, it was a defensive battle that stretched throughout the entire match. MSU was able to secure four shots compared to the Friars one attempt, but neither team could get the ball past the keeper.
The scoreboard was stuck at 0-0 as the first half concluded, but the energy from the fans never ceased. The Bulldogs were determined to make it to the second round and leave Providence wishing it was them. 
The defensive affair continued into the second half, and MSU desperately searched for someone to answer the call to secure the win. The Bulldogs’ offense entered the field with aggression and secured a dominating nine shot attempts against the Friars, but Providence stood its ground and did not allow any goals to be made. 
As time trickled down, the match remained scoreless and hope began to fade. 
The teams entered into overtime to finalize who would be moving on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and the Bulldogs stepped onto the pitch once more. 
Wide-eyed fans anxiously watched as Mississippi State gave its final stride in an effort to secure a victory against the Friars, and with 13 minutes left in the extra period, the Bulldogs did just that.
Cheers erupted from the Maroon and White faithful and smiles of relief lit up the field as sophomore forward Maggie Wadsworth sent a ball rocketing past the Friar’s goalkeeper and into the net for a Mississippi State point. 
Not only was the crowd ignited with joy, but Wadsworth also felt her own sense of pride and accomplishment as her teammates ran to her side to celebrate the goal. 
“I’m feeling pretty excited [and] proud of everybody,” Wadsworth said. “We worked really hard. [After the goal] I was taking a little two-second breather on the ground afterward [because] I was relieved [and] ready to get on with that second half of overtime.”
After putting the first point up on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs defense made sure to push the throttle down to maintain the lead. 
As overtime came to a close, over 1,000 Bulldogs fans roared as their cowbells sang to the tune of a Mississippi State victory. 
The Mississippi State soccer team did exactly what they came to do and have now secured a spot in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 
Head coach James Armstrong expressed his pride and gratitude toward Maggie Wadsworth as she is a key player for the Bulldogs. 
 ”Maggie brings it every single day,” Armstrong said. “She’s got some really important goals [and] big moments and that’s what big-time players do. I’m most proud of the fact that she didn’t give up. The [opposing player] was grabbing her and the goalkeeper was coming out and that was a really brave play by Maggie there and that’s the difference between winning and losing.”
The Bulldog faithful remained constant and encouraging throughout the entire 110 minutes of play. Even when the match seemed shaky, the fans never lost hope. 
“We love our fans so much [and] they are one of our biggest reasons for coming out and doing what we do every day,” Wadsworth said. “Having their support by our sides for the whole game and not seeing the crowd start to walk away as we’re getting into the second half of overtime [means a lot]. That’s a lot of time to be sitting there watching a soccer game but they really love us and support us, and we love them just as much.”
The Bulldogs (11-5-5) advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will take on Brown University (12-2-2) in Stanford, California, in the upcoming weeks. The date and time are currently to be determined. 

About the Contributor
Aubrey Carter, Sports Editor
Aubrey Carter is a junior communication major with a concentration in broadcast & digital journalism from Birmingham, Alabama. She currently serves as the Sports Editor. [email protected]
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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
MSU soccer heads to second round of NCAA Tournament