Ole Miss soccer head coach Matt Mott meets with media to discuss Rebels’ undefeated start to season

Published 5:51 pm Monday, August 29, 2022

Ole Miss Soccer Head Coach Matt Mott met with members of the media on Monday as part of his weekly press conference. Coach Mott recapped the team’s undefeated start to the season

Opening Statement…

“We appreciate you guys every year letting us talk about our team. We are off to a great start, we are 3-0-1. It’s a really interesting start to our preseason, we have 14 returning players and 13 new players between transfers and freshman and it was like blending families for sure, certainly through our preseason and as we go into the season.”

Recapping Memphis and this past weekend…

“We’ve started off really well, big win last Sunday against Memphis who’s ranked and is our derby game. It’s the closest team to us, it’s a battle every time we play them. Always a really tough game and that was a tough game that we played really well in. It was 0-0 at half time and then we got three good goals in the second half. One off a corner, set pieces have been really important to us really all season so far, and then Sydney Michalak made a great individual play and then capped it off with a third one to be up 3-0.

I’m very happy with the team and that match. This past week we really set the team up in a difficult situation where we went to Middle Tennessee State and drove up the night before playing and played well. We earned a 4-0 win on a difficult field inside a track and the field was long. You know in soccer sometimes you get a turf field and different situations to play on and I thought our team handled it really well.

We drove back after the game, then on Saturday drove up to Birmingham to play Samford on Sunday. I would argue the hottest game maybe I’ve ever been a part of. It was miserably hot. It put a lot of travel on our team, probably poor scheduling by me, playing a very good Samford team. A team that is receiving votes and I’m not sure they won’t be top-25 this week. It was a battle for 90 minutes for both teams, they know us really well and I’m really good friends with their coach. They do an unbelievable job. So, a great match, probably fortunate to get out with a 0-0 draw. Both teams battled really hard, we had a couple of looks and they had a couple of looks.”

On being undefeated and not allowing a goal…

“We are still undefeated; we have four clean sheets which we are really proud of and we’ve not conceded any goals yet. Ashley Orkus is playing unbelievably in goal at this point, starting her senior year and her fifth year being here. I’m happy with the team overall defensively. We have to continue to create more goals but overall, pretty pleased with where we are at at this point in the season.”

Previewing Louisiana Tech and UCF games…

“We have two big games coming up this week. We play at home Thursday night against Louisiana Tech and then we jump on the road for a big test down in Orlando when we play UCF on Sunday night.“

On what the team could approve on…

“It’s tricky because I’m not sure we played great yesterday overall. I do think the heat, the travel and the fatigue had a lot to do with it. We’ve got to connect more passes; we’ve got to be better going forward, being more creative. I felt like our backs were a little sloppy with the ball yesterday and I thought as we went forward, we rushed it a little bit. We’re still trying to come together in an attacking situation but defensively we’re playing at a pretty good level.”