October 8, 2018 10:36:14 AM
STARKVILLE -- The No. 25 Mississippi State women's soccer team had its highest-scoring game in Southeastern Conference play Sunday in a 5-2 victory against Alabama at the MSU Soccer Field.
Junior Hailey Zerbel became the first Bulldog to record three assists in a SEC game.
Four MSU players scored in the match, and Zakirah McGillivary's tally stood as the game-winner, giving her sole possession of the MSU freshman record for game-winners. It also tied junior MaKayla Waldner's single-season record (five) set last year.
"It felt so good to score goals," MSU coach Tom Anagnost said. "The kids did really good job. I'm very pleased with the performance by everybody. It was a great response from last game."
The five-goal output snapped a three-game shutout streak for MSU (9-3-1, 2-3-1 SEC). Freshman Niah Johnson got the scoring started in the third minute. Zerbel used her flip throw to get the ball into the box, where McKee headed the ball on frame. An Alabama player stepped in the way on the goal line, but Johnson found the rebound just inside the left post and tapped it home.
In the 25th minute, a similar picture unfolded. Zerbel's throw again came to McKee, who headed the ball across the box to senior Carly Mauldin, who headed it in for a two-goal lead.
"Brooke was great," Anagnost said. "She has been playing really well. She's a very valuable player, and today she was extraordinary."
Two minutes later, McGillivary added her goal. Senior Courtney Robicheaux crossed the ball to redshirt sophomore Olivia Hernandez at the back post. Hernandez's volley was saved, but continued to trickle toward the goal line where McGillivary finished it off.
Zerbel grabbed her third assist in the 35th minute, again with her head. Freshman Miranda Carrasco took a corner kick that Zerbel headed to Mauldin for a four-goal lead at halftime.
Waldner scored on a loose ball in the box in the 67th minute after taking a short pass from Johnson.
Riley Mattingly and Tori Gann scored goals in the 68th and 90th minutes for Alabama (7-7-1, 1-5).
"There's nothing that surprised me about Mississippi State today," Alabama coach Wes Hart said. "We knew they were athletic, physical, and were going to be hard to beat. We knew that their most dangerous opportunities would come by way of set pieces. All five of their goals were scored that way today. This is an area we've struggled in lately and something we need to get better at if we want to make up some ground in SEC."
MSU held a 23-7 edge in shots.
MSU will take on No. 6 Texas A&M at 7:30 p.m. Friday in College Station, Texas. The match will be available on SEC Network+. Alabama will play host to Florida at 4 p.m. Sunday (SEC Network+).
n Ole Miss 3, Arkansas 1: At Oxford, CeCe Kizer had a goal and two assists Sunday to lead the Rebels (9-5-1, 3-2-1) past the Razorbacks (9-3-2, 4-2) at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
The scoring pushed Kizer's scoring total to 30 points, which is second nationally. She leads Ole Miss with 12 goals and six assists.
Freshman goalkeeper Morgan McAslan relieved an injured Marnie Merritt in the seventh minute and denied Tori Cannata on a 1-vs.-1 chance in the 27th-minute.
In the 32nd-minute, Ella Frischknecht hit Kizer with a pass and Kizer released Lonnie Mulligan with a through ball. At full speed, Mulligan hit it first time, smashing a laser off the bar and in.
Ole Miss seized that momentum early in the second half as Channing Foster took a feed from Kizer and curled her shot inside the near post from 10 yards.
Arkansas made a late push, scoring in the 82nd on Kayla McKeon's sixth of the year. However, Kizer removed any thoughts of a comeback a couple of minutes later, burying a goal inside the near post.
Ole Miss had a 14-9 edge in shots, including 8-3 in shots on goal.
Ole Miss will take on LSU on Thursday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The match will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
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