Bulldogs Blank Devilettes To Improve To 6-0
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Dana Forbes and Amy Hoover each scored as Mississippi State improved to 6-0 on the season with a 2-0 victory against Mississippi Valley State Friday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
Forbes' decisive goal in the 24th minute was the first of the Whitby, Ontario, native's MSU career. Hoover gave the Dawgs the added cushion when she headed her fourth goal of the season into the back of the net in the 68th minute.
The defense made the advantage hold up, limiting the Devilettes (0-5-0) to just seven shots as the Bulldogs matched a school record with their fourth-straight shutout.
"Dana did really well tonight. She had a great game and got better as the game went on," MSU coach Neil Macdonald said. "Amy has been outstanding for us this season. Her work rate in the middle of the park has been fantastic. She seems to get from 18 to 18 effortlessly at times, and she came on in the second half and got that goal that helped everyone relax a little bit."
Senior Skylar Rosson made the save on MVSU's lone chance on target. The Edmond, Okla., native claimed the 10th clean sheet of her career, tying her for the second-most by a Bulldog keeper.
State fired a season- and program fifth-most 36 shots, putting 10 of those attempts between the posts.
The Dawgs' first real scoring threat came in the 23rd minute when junior Elisabeth Sullivan had a shot saved by MVSU goalie Shelby Willcocks. Sullivan had her consecutive games with a goal streak stopped at four, one shy of the program's top mark.
MSU capitalized on its next chance a minute later. Forbes dribbled to create an opening and fired a 25-yard shot that found the top corner of the far post for the 1-0 Bulldog lead.
Freshman Mary Kathryn Taylor nearly extended the lead with a couple of chances late in the first half. Willcocks made a brilliant save on a 33rd-minute attempt by the Pace, Fla., native, and with just over a minute left, she hit another shot that Willcocks deflected just enough to send it off the post. Fellow rookie Halee Heltsley was there for the follow-up, but her attempt carried just outside the near post as the Dawgs took the 1-0 advantage to the half.
"We had a hard week of training, so I thought we looked tired at times. Some of our passing was off, and our first touch was off at times, especially in the first half," Macdonald said. "We created a lot of chances, but the finesse to finish things off wasn't quite there for us."
Mississippi State set an aggressive tone to the second half, pounding eight shots at the Devilettes in the opening 10 minutes.
In the 68th minute, MSU pressure created a throw-in in the MVSU final third. Gracie Irby tossed the ball to reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Honeye Heydari. She turned and served a ball into the box that Hoover headed past Willcocks for the decisive goal.
Irby earned her first collegiate point in the match, while Heydari collected a point in her sixth-straight contest to tie Jessie Moore and Amy Van Zandt for the school record for consecutive games with a point.
Willcocks claimed eight saves on the night for the Devilettes.
Mississippi State wraps the non-conference slate Sunday, hosting in-state foe Southern Mississippi in a 7 p.m. kickoff at the MSU Soccer Field.
Miss. Valley St. (0-5-0) vs. Mississippi State (6-0-0)
Date: Sep 07, 2012 Attendance: 673
Weather: Fair skies, 90 degrees, Wind SSE @ 6 mph
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Miss. Valley St..... 0 0 - 0
Mississippi State... 1 1 - 2
1. 23:29 MSU Dana Forbes (1) (unassisted) - dribbled and shot from 25 yards to far post.
2. 67:03 MSU Amy Hoover (4) (Honeye Heydari;Gracie Irby) - Cross from left headed across goal into bottom corner
Shots: Miss. Valley St. 7, Mississippi State 36
Saves: Miss. Valley St. 8 (Shelby Willcocks 8), Mississippi State 1
(Skylar Rosson 1)