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Bulldogs Close Spring Slate With 1-1 Tie Against USM

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Elisabeth Sullivan scored her third goal of the spring Saturday afternoon in front of a capacity Super Bulldog Weekend crowd.
Photo Courtesy of Russ Houston

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Elisabeth Sullivan scored her third goal of the spring as the Mississippi State soccer team tied Southern Miss 1-1 in front of a Super Bulldog Weekend capacity crowd at the MSU Soccer Field.

The draw capped an unbeaten spring slate for Mississippi State in its first action under new head coach Aaron Gordon.

The Bulldogs managed to pull out the tie despite a limited roster that was coming off an exhausting 1-0 win against Memphis four days earlier.

“It was a beautiful day to play soccer, and we had a great crowd here supporting us. Unfortunately, I don’t think we brought everything we could have,” Gordon said. “Playing midweek against a tough Memphis team and having a small roster this spring could have been a factor, but the spring overall has been good so I can’t complain.”

The Bulldogs out-shot the Golden Eagles 12-7, including a 6-3 edge in on-goal opportunities. State also held a 5-4 advantage in corner kick opportunities.

Playing three 30-minute periods, State netted the first goal on a Sullivan strike 10 minutes after the opening whistle.

Shannon Palmer had a chance to add a second goal for MSU moments later, but her attempt sailed just wide left of target.

Toward the end of the opening 30 minutes, Sullivan broke through the USM defense only to have her attempt stopped by the Golden Eagle goalkeeper.

Southern Miss nearly had the equalizer midway through the second period as a long attempt from the right side was deflected wide of the back post by State goalie CJ Winship.

With just under 16 minutes left in the second period, the Bulldogs’ Shannen Jainudeen sent a header just high of the bar on a corner kick by Amy Hoover.

The Golden Eagles countered four minutes later and had a nice link-up play at the edge of the 18, but MSU’s defense stood strong and cleared the ball out of the danger area.

MSU had the next chance in the frantic period on a Sullivan flick to Halee Heltsley, but her shot was turned back by the Golden Eagle goalie.

After a Sullivan shot sailed wide, USM equalized off a corner kick with 1:47 to go in the second stanza.

The Golden Eagles sent the ball into the middle of the 18, and in the ensuing fight for the loose ball, Temple Hughs found it at her feet and put it into the right side of the net.

Early in the final stanza, Sullivan had a go-ahead volley attempt tipped over the bar. USM had the final scoring chance of the contest, but Brooke Hendrix’s chip shot narrowly sailed high of target.
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