Four Rebels land on SEC preseason watch list

Published 12:27 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. –Four Ole Miss players have been tabbed to the SEC Preseason Watch List, announced Wednesday by the league office.

Sydney Michalak and Ashley Orkus land on the watch list for the third consecutive season, while Mo O’Connor and Taylor Radecki both make their first appearance.

Michalak is entering her sixth and final season as a Rebel. Since switching from an attacking position to the back line ahead of the 2019 season, the Florida native has been a mainstay in the Rebel starting XI, starting all 59 matches in that time. In those three seasons, Michalak has been a key figure in 19 clean sheets.

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Orkus begins her fourth season in goal for Ole Miss as the two-time defending SEC Goalkeeper of the Year and one of the most decorated players in program history. The sixth-year senior became the first Rebel ever to be named a First Team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches in 2021 and is largely recognized as one of the top keepers in the country.

A local product out of nearby Oxford High School, O’Connor is Ole Miss’ leading returning goal scorer from last season, bagging seven goals on the year. O’Connor has been a pest to league competition throughout her career, notching eight of her 13 career goals against SEC competition, including a league-high five goals in SEC play in 2021.

Radecki is in her third season at Ole Miss after transferring from Florida State and has been a staple of the Rebel defense ever since. She has started all 39 matches since 2020, helping the Rebels to 13 clean sheets in that time. Thanks in part to a lethal long throw in, Radecki tallied seven assists last season, second most on the team.