Kizer’s two goals push Rebels past Memphis

Published 12:00 pm Monday, September 21, 2015

MEMPHIS — Freshman CeCe Kizer scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift Ole Miss to a 2-1 comeback victory over Memphis Sunday night at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. With the road victory, the Rebels finished non-conference play unbeaten and improve to 6-2-2 overall on the campaign.

“It was a big-time match. Every time we play these guys, a rival, it’s always a great game,” said Ole Miss coach Matthew Mott. “We went into halftime and challenged them a little bit. We said every team faces this stuff during the season, and they stepped up.”

Kizer scored her fifth game-winning goal of the season, a mark that leads the nation, in the 98th minute of play. The second multi-goal game of her young career gives the freshman a total of nine goals in 2015.

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“She snuck it in near the post, and it was a great finish for her,” noted Coach Mott. “Her composure for a freshman is just really big time.”

Ole Miss outshot Memphis, 15-9, in the non-conference rivalry. Redshirt-freshman Marnie Merritt (6-2-2) earned the victory in goal, making five saves and holding Memphis scoreless for the final 90 minutes.

The Rebels nearly claimed the lead in the seventh minute but Addie Forbus fired a shot that clanked off the crossbar. Less than one minute later, it was the home team that struck first. Memphis served in a long free kick that connected with Marie Levasseur, who headed the ball past Merritt to give the Tigers the early advantage.

Ole Miss controlled ball possession throughout the majority of the opening 45 minutes, outshooting the Tigers 8-3. However, the equalizer was not found before halftime. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Olivia Harrison almost squared the match to a header near the far post, but the Memphis keeper made a diving save to keep the Tigers ahead, 1-0, at the break.

Trailing, the Rebels came out of the locker room aggressive, earning the game’s first corner kick just 15 seconds into the second half. Liza Harbin advanced up from the back line and took a shot on goal, but the Memphis goalie stopped it from finding the back of the net.

Finding the net
Continuing to push the action, Ole Miss finally found the equalizer in the 65th minute. In a busy right side of the box, Kizer followed Forbus’ blocked shot and blasted the ball into the goal. On the 11th shot of the match, the Rebels finally squared the match at 1-1 with 35:36 remaining in the second half.

Merritt produced a clean sheet in the second half, stopping all three of the Tigers’ shots on goal during the period. Her best save came with 50 seconds left in regulation, diving for the save as the clock ticked down. After 90 minutes of play, Ole Miss and Memphis would need extra time with the tied at one goal apiece.

Memphis took the first crack at the goal in overtime as Merritt found herself with a difficult one-on-one situation. However, the redshirt freshman held her ground and made an incredible save to keep the Rebels alive.