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Ole Miss soccer downs Middle Tennessee 4-0

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) — Four Rebels notched goals on the afternoon, including the first career goal from sophomore Georgia Russell, as Ole Miss (5-1-2) defeated Middle Tennessee (3-3-1) by a score of 4-0 at the annual Kickin’ Cancer game.

Russell scored her first collegiate goal to give the Rebels a little breathing room late in the first half, combining with Addie Forbus and Jennifer Miller in a three-goal half for Ole Miss. The Rebels added a fourth goal from Gretchen Harknett on a penalty kick in the second period for the final margin of victory.

It was the second shutout of the weekend for the Rebels after a 2-0 win on the road at Austin Peay on Friday night.

“We spread the ball around a lot and got the ball to Addie (Forbus) in some good spots,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “Georgia (Russell) came off the bench and scored a good goal for us. Gretchen (Harknett) has been good all year and we’re happy she got on the board. Hopefully that will be the start of her scoring some goals for us.

“Bethany Bunker, Sara Coleman and Jenn (Miller) all played well for us this afternoon, too,” Mott said. “It was a good match for us all around and a good weekend before jumping into the heart of Southeastern Conference play next weekend.”

Ole Miss got on the board in the 18th minute when Harknett dribbled down the field and sent the ball into the middle of the box to Forbus. The sophomore forward then drilled the ball into the net and past the keeper to give the Rebels the early lead.

The two squads battled back and forth throughout the rest of the half before the Rebels’ pressure finally yielded two more goals in the final minute of the period to give Ole Miss the 3-0 lead at the half.

The first of the two goals in the 45th minute came off a deflected shot by Forbus in the box that skipped over to Russell on the near side of the goal. Russell fired the shot in past the keeper and the far post to give the Rebels the 2-0 lead.

Seconds later, the Rebels came up with a takeaway just outside the box and Coleman dribbled the ball into the box on the far side of the field and was met by a diving keeper. Coleman was able to stay with the play as the ball bounced off the hands of the Middle Tennessee keeper and tapped it over to Miller who put it in the net right before the buzzer.

Neither team was able to break through for much of the second half until Coleman again came up with a breakaway down the far side of the field in the 81st minute. The sophomore forward got into the box when she was taken down from behind by the Middle Tennessee defender to set up the penalty kick for the Rebels.

Harknett stepped up to take the kick, driving the ball into the net for the fourth goal of the afternoon and the final margin of victory.

Ole Miss will return to action next weekend, traveling to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday night at 7 p.m. in a match televised by the SEC Network. The Rebels will then continue to play on the road, stepping out of conference for the final time with a road contest at UCF Sunday evening.

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