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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Rebels win shootout victory to advance in NCAA tourney

18 days ago
Ole Miss Athletics
Photo: Ole Miss Athletics

WILMINGTON, N.C. - Ashley Orkus saved three penalty shots and Mo O'Connor scored the game winner in a dramatic shootout as Ole Miss soccer advanced past Bowling Green in the first round of the 2020 NCAA Soccer Championship Tuesday night. With the victory, the Rebels advance to the second round for the fifth time in program history.

Regulation and two overtimes weren't enough as Ole Miss and Bowling Green went seven rounds in penalty kicks at the UNCW Soccer Stadium. The Rebels advanced 4-3 in the shootouts, setting up a second round matchup with USC on Friday in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Neither team could get anything going in the first half. Haleigh Stackpole had the best opportunity on a free kick in the 19th minute but the Falcons' Lili Berg dove to her left to keep the Rebels off the board. Bowling Green worked the ball into the Rebel box a few times, but Orkus was able to cover and snuff out the chance each time.

After a scoreless first half, Ole Miss came out and quickly earned a corner. Saydie Holland had a chance to give the Rebels the lead but couldn't quite redirect the ball on target. A few minutes later, Bowling Green earned a series of four consecutive corners but Orkus and the Rebels held strong and spoiled the Falcons best opportunity of the match.

Still scoreless, the Rebels and Falcons played two 10-minute overtime periods before the match eventually headed to a penalty shootout.

Ole Miss fell behind 0-1 after two rounds but remained undetered. Stackpole and BGSU's Nikki Cox traded goals in the third set of penalty kicks. Madisyn Pezzino stepped up to the dot for the fourth round and calmly slotted her shot into the corner, tying things up at two apiece. After both teams missed their fifth attempt, Ole Miss and Bowling Green moved to a sudden death scenario.

After Lucy Green converted on the Rebels' sixth attempt, BGSU's Jasmijn Dijsselhof knotted things back up as she was able to get one by Orkus and keep the Falcons alive. Oxford native Mo O'Connor came in to take the seventh kick for the Rebels, sending a rocket past the diving keeper. With the Falcons needing a conversion to keep things alive, the ensuing shot careened off the post and out, sending the Rebels into a frenzy.

Ole Miss will continue its run in Wilmington on Friday, April 30, taking on USC at 5 p.m. CT in the second round of the tournament. The match will be streamed through the Seahawk Digital Network, available through the CAA.tv app.