October 23, 2017 11:03:46 AM
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State and Ole Miss women's soccer teams played to a 1-1 double-overtime tie Sunday in the Magnolia Cup at the MSU Soccer Field.
MSU (8-4-4, 2-4-3 Southeastern Conference) and Ole Miss (104-3, 3-4-2) overcame the rain to earn a point in the race to qualify for the SEC tournament, which begins Sunday, Oct. 29, in Orange Beach, Alabama.
The tie pushed MSU (nine points) into sole possession of the 10th and final spot for the SEC tournament. Kentucky, Missouri, and LSU are tied for 11th with six points. All of the teams will wrap up the regular season Thursday.
MSU is looking to qualify for the SEC tournament for the first time since 2004.
"We tied a very good team," MSU coach Tom Anagnost said. "Give a lot of credit to Ole Miss. They are definitely a very strong soccer team with some excellent players."
MSU outshot Ole Miss 20-17 and had a 10-7 edge in shots on goal.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the 36th minute on a fade-away header by Brooke McKee. The Madison, Alabama, junior took a corner kick from Mallory Eubanks and drilled it in for her eighth goal of the season, and third of the week.
Ole Miss tied the match in the 70th minute when Gabby Little found CeCe Kizer for her 16th goal of the year.
Ole Miss' Marnie Merritt (nine saves) and Catalina Perez (six saves) had their moments from that point to keep the match scoreless.
In the 80th minute, Perez displayed her athleticism by diving on a loose ball to prevent the Rebels from getting a shot off.
The Bulldogs nearly scored the golden goal in the 108th minute when Merritt corralled MaKayla Waldner's header.
Carly Mauldin had perhaps the best chance, sending a rocket in the 118th minute that seemed destined for the upper 90. However, Merritt dove to her left to punching the shot away.
"All in all, it wasn't a bad day," Anagnost said. "We got a point against a top-25 team. I look at it as we've grown. Hopefully, we can build on it."
The tie helped Ole Miss retain possession of the Magnolia Cup. It has held the trophy in the annual rivalry since 2013.
MSU will play host to Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free and the match will be streamed live on SEC Network+.
Ole Miss will play host to Alabama at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
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