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Rebels start NCAAs in search of offense

Ole Miss wants to hang around for a while in the NCAA Tournament. In order to do that, the Rebels are going to have to start finding the back of the net.

The last time Ole Miss scored a goal was Oct. 25 in a win at Texas A&M. The Rebels were blanked by Vanderbilt in their regular-season finale and then quickly ousted from the Southeastern Conference Tournament by the Aggies in the last match they played Nov. 4.

The shutouts have resulted in the first losing streak of the season for the Rebels (13-5-2), something they’ll need to end if they want to get past Murray State tonight at the Ole Miss Soccer Complex and advance.

“Vanderbilt was a tough game because we connected a lot of passes, but we just weren’t dangerous enough,” Ole Miss coach Matt Mott said. “But to me, that game’s a long time ago. We struggled against A&M, but we’re back at practice and kind of past that. We’re ready for the next chapter and that’s the biggest tournament of the year.”

Not the same
Vanderbilt and A&M offered their share of resistance against an Ole Miss offense that scored 40 goals in the regular season to tie with LSU for fourth-most in the SEC, but Mott said he sensed his team wasn’t itself with a travel schedule that took the Rebels from College Station, Texas, back to Oxford and then to Orange Beach, Alabama, for its brief SEC Tournament stay in a span of 10 days.

“I think that might be a result of when we don’t take care of the little things and we aren’t focused for every minute of the game,” junior forward Addie Forbus said. “I think when we maybe focus on the small details of the game, then the rest will take care of itself.”

One or two goals would’ve made things interesting against Vanderbilt and A&M as Ole Miss lost those matches a combined 3-0. A quick score tonight in front of the home crowd, Mott said, would help.

“I think starting off well, starting off fast and the girls believing in what they can do and their abilities,” he said.