TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Ole Miss scored in the early minutes of both halves on Sunday, adding in a quality defensive performance all around to shutout Alabama 2-0, collecting three crucial road points in the SEC standings.
It was the first time all season that Alabama (1-3-1) has been held off the board and the second clean sheet of the season for Ashley Orkus.
Ole Miss (2-3-0) was outshot 10-8 in the match, with Alabama racking up nine corner kick opportunities compared to two on the other side of the pitch. However, the counter attack proved to be the difference for the Rebels, using their pace and passing to break down the Crimson Tide defense.
The Rebels got off to a flying start, opening scoring in the 10th minute. The opportunity came from a long throw-in by Taylor Radecki, with Channing Foster beating Alabama keeper McKinley Crone to the bouncing ball in the box and heading into the open net. It was Foster's first goal of the season and the 31st of her illustrious career.
Seven minutes later the Crimson Tide nearly equalized, with Gigi Schorr's shot taking a deflection and fading just inches wide of the far post for a corner.
After a period of possession by the home team, Ole Miss came on strong to close out the half through Madisyn Pezzino. After the New York native's cheeky through ball just evaded Foster in the 39th minute, Pezzino was set up herself in the 44th. Pezzino was able to set the ball up on her preferred left foot but couldn't keep it down, blasting a rocket over the crossbar.
Following the break, Ole Miss came right back out of the gate hot, doubling its lead in the 51st minute. Collecting a loose ball on the wing, Ramsey Davis laid off to Mo O'Connor at the top of the 18. The Oxford product cut it loose with her left and a deflection off a Crimson Tide leg sent the ball directly into the left side of the net for an own goal.
With a two-goal advantage in hand, the Rebels kept on the attack, creating a few chances that ended in near misses of a third tally. With desperation setting in, Alabama threw everything they had in the final 10 minutes but the Rebels were up to the task.
After an excellent clearance off the line by Price Loposer in the 80th minute, Orkus came through with back-to-back clutch saves in the 82nd and 84th minute to keep the clean sheet intact and give Ole Miss its second road victory of the season.
Following back-to-back stints in Alabama, the Rebels return home for a Sunday afternoon battle with No. 3 Arkansas on Sunday, Oct. 18. The match, set for a 3 p.m. CT kickoff, will air on national TV on the SEC Network.