A deflected shot in the box proved to be the difference on Sunday as the Mississippi State soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision at Alabama.
The Bulldogs outshot the Crimson Tide, but they saw three scoring chances roll just wide or sail over the bar.
Onyi Echegini took the first shot of the match in the 11th minute and later made the keeper make a save in the 22nd minute. Maddy Anderson made her first save of the day in the 32nd minute and snagged a header with 30 seconds to play in the half. At the break, State held a 4-2 edge in shots.
The Bulldogs earned a corner just 30 seconds into the second half but were unable to generate a shot. In the 53rd minute, Ally Perry put a shot just over the crossbar, and Hannah Telleysh also sent one high in the 65th minute.
State’s best scoring chance came in the 67th minute. Juliet Moore took a shot at the top of the box that was blocked, but the ball continued to roll into the box where Ky Burroughs beat the keeper to the loose ball. Burroughs’ shot, however, rolled wide of the right post.
Alabama (8-7, 3-3 SEC) earned a corner kick in the 73rd minute and scored on the play. After State headed the initial service away from the net, the Crimson Tide’s Riley Tanner fired a shot that deflected in the box for the game-winning goal.
With a little more than 3 minutes to play, Hailey Farrington-Bentil made a run into the box, but the Alabama goalkeeper secured the ball just inches ahead of her. The Bulldogs (3-6-3, 1-4-1 SEC) had a final chance to even the score on a free kick in the 88th minute, but Echegini’s shot bent wide of the left post.
Anderson finished the day with an SEC-career-high nine saves, including three impressive stops. She made a one-on-one save in the 67th minute, stopped a shot with a dive in the 69th minute and scrambled to the post to save a second attempt off the rebound.
Mississippi State will travel to No. 12 Tennessee on Friday for a 6 p.m. kickoff on SEC Network+.
Bulldogs fall to Razorbacks at SEC Match Play
Mississippi State dropped a tightly contested match to No. 15 Arkansas, 3-2, in SEC Match Play and will continue competition in pool play in Birmingham, Alabama.
State faces Kentucky in the consolation bracket and will resume play at 9 a.m. Monday after play was suspended in the afternoon because of darkness.
In Round 1, freshman Jay Nimmo and junior Hunter Logan won their matches against the Razorbacks.
Nimmo began the round playing steady golf with four birdies on the front nine, but the match remained even. On the back nine, he won three of the first four holes. Arkansas’ Wil Gibson pulled within striking distance, winning Nos. 15 and 16, but Nimmo won the 17th to claim a 2-and-1 victory.
Logan came out hot for the Bulldogs with four birdies in the front nine. He was 3-up through five holes. He added a turkey on Nos. 11, 12 and 13 to go 4-up. He never trailed on his way to a 5-and-4 win over Arkansas’ Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira.
Senior Ford Clegg was consistent throughout his match with a bogey-free front nine but fell at No. 17 with a bogey and lost 3-and-1 to Juan Vesga. Sophomore Loïc Ettlin fell 3-and-2, while sophomore Pedro Silva Cruz’s match ended at 5-and-4.
The Bulldogs are in the midst of a match with Kentucky and played nine holes before play was suspended. MSU currently leads 3-1 with Clegg and Cooper Parks all-square through nine. Silva Cruz is 1-up with two birdies carded. Logan added on three birdies to place him 2-up, and Nimmo is sitting 3-up.
The Bulldogs will continue with pool play tomorrow to wrap up the back nine against Kentucky and then play an additional 18-hole match against another eliminated team.
Bulldogs earn four singles victories
Mississippi State closed out the Clemson Invite with a strong showing in singles play against Indiana on Sunday morning.
The Bulldogs were winners in four of their five singles matches with No. 54 Davide Tortora, No. 92 Alberto Colas, Carles Hernandez and Gregor Ramskogler earning victories.
Tortora took down the Hoosiers’ Carson Haskins 6-2, 6-4 while Colas collected a three-set win against Patrick Fletchall 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 7-6 (7-0). Hernandez earned a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Luka Vukovic and Ramskogler rallied for a win over Michael Andre 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Redshirt freshman Seth Richey was the only MSU player that did not have a singles victory Sunday.
The Bulldogs also experienced some setbacks in doubles play. The team of Colas and Hernandez fell to Hankins and Vukovic 6-2, and Ramskogler and Tortora lost 6-3 to Fletchall and Saylor.
State posted a 7-8 singles record and a 1-5 mark in doubles at the three-day event, which also featured Clemson and Liberty. The Bulldogs were without their two highest-ranked competitors – No. 27 Florian Broska and No. 36 Nemanja Malesevic – at Clemson since both competed at the ITA All-American in Tulsa, Oklahoma, earlier in the week.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Oct. 14-18 for the ITA Southern Regionals in Auburn, Alabama.
Antonaki, Racine finish up at ITA All-American
Two members of Mississippi State’s women’s tennis team finished off their run at the ITA All-American with a near upset of the seventh-ranked doubles team in the country Friday.
The No. 41 pairing of Emmanouela Antonaki and Tamara Racine fell in a three-set nail-biter to Bronte Murgett and Marta Oliviera of Missouri 6-3, 4-6 (11-9) in the quarterfinals of the consolation bracket.
This was Antonaki and Racine’s third straight match against a ranked opponent. They took down No. 38 Anna and Carolyn Campana of Wake Forest 9-8 (5) in Thursday’s action. The duo also took on Michigan State’s No. 28 tandem of Mary Lewis and Maja Pietrowicz also on Thursday but fell by a score of 8-6.
Antonaki and Racine will join the rest of the team in Starkville to gear up for the ITA Southern Regional from Oct. 14-19 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.