OXFORD, Miss. - Overcoming wet and soggy conditions at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium, the Rebels put the cherry on top of Senior Day with a 1-0 win against seventh-ranked and SEC Regular Season Champion Vanderbilt Thursday night in Ole Miss' regular season finale.
The victory clinches a first-round bye for Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament, immediately advancing the Rebels to the quarterfinals. Seeding will be announced by the SEC office later tonight at the conclusion of the night's matches.
Prior to the match, Ole Miss (12-6-1, 6-3-1 SEC) honored its six-member senior class, with Tara Sullivan, Ella Frischknecht, Mary Kate Smith, Marisa Kutchma, CeCe Kizer and Marnie Merritt taking part in a ceremony with family and friends out on the pitch.
After an initial feeling out period by both teams adjusting to the damp conditions in the early minutes of the match, Ole Miss took its lead in the 12th-minute via a free kick. Head coach Matt Mott called upon freshman Haleigh Stackpole to take the chance and the Fort Bragg, North Carolina native made it pay off, driving a shot through the wall and tucking the ball inside the near post.
From there, the Rebels went to work defensively, through the break and throughout the second half. While Ole Miss was able to create some chances for a second score, the Commodores (15-2-1, 8-1-1 SEC) continued to pour numbers forward as the night wore on.
With the SEC's second-highest scoring team coming at them time and again, the Rebel defense stepped up each time it was called upon. Whenever the Rebels weren't able to get in front of a shot to deny a goal-scoring opportunity, goalkeeper Morgan McAslan stood tall to make the crucial save or catch.
The Commodores came within inches of tying the score in the 61st-minute when Madi Allen hit the crossbar with a bending ball from 24 yards out. Aside from that, the Rebels rarely allowed any of Vanderbilt's 17 shots to cause too much danger, surrendering just four attempts on goal.
With the regular season in the books, Ole Miss turns its attention to postseason play. The Rebels will take on Arkansas in a rematch of Ole Miss' 3-1 victory in Oxford earlier this season, tangling with the Razorbacks on Tuesday in Orange Beach. The match will be streamed live on the SEC Network.
• Ole Miss has earned the No. 5 seed in the SEC Tournament and will receive a first-round bye. The Rebels will take on fourth-seeded Arkansas on Tuesday.
• Freshman Haleigh Stackpole scored her fifth goal of the season to catapult the Rebels to the win. It is the fourth game-winning goal of the season for the midfielder.
• The Rebels win ends a 16-match unbeaten streak for Vanderbilt. Ole Miss is just the second team all season to hold the Commodores scoreless.
• Morgan McAslan and the Ole Miss defense collected its third-straight clean sheet. It is the longest shutout streak for the Rebels since a five-match streak last season and the longest in conference play since a three-match run in 2015.
• The three-match winning streak to end the regular season is the longest for Ole Miss since a similar three-match streak in 2011. That year, the three wins came over Kentucky, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.