Jainudeen headed home a Morganne Grimes free kick for her second-career goal in the 50th minute to tie the match after Lauren Allison scored the first of her two goals to give USA a 1-0 halftime lead.
Allison broke the 1-1 tie seven minutes later, netting a Jordan Duncan pass into the far post. Duncan extended the advantage to 3-1 four minutes later as she chested home a Tatum Perry pass.
“I think we were ready to play, but for some reason we came out flat in the first 20 minutes. We weren’t as physical as we needed to be and didn’t win any first or second balls, and that was the difference in the match. We are a young team that started four freshmen, and they learned tonight that you have to be ready to compete every single game,” head coach Aaron Gordon said. “I thought we played our best 15 minutes of the game at the start the second half, and I was proud of the way we climbed back after falling behind 3-1.
“I told the team we need to learn from this game and flush it out of our system to get ready for Arkansas State. We are looking to get back out there on Sunday in front of our fans,” Gordon said.
With seven minutes to go, the Bulldogs cut the USA lead to 3-2 on Sullivan’s MSU-best 24th-career goal. Drish fumbled a cross in the box, and the ball landed at the feet of Sullivan for the one-timer into the net.
It was the 60th-career point for the Memphis native, putting her two back of the school record set by Jessi Moore in the 2001-02 seasons.
After freshman Meara Johnson stopped a late Nikki Shirtcliffe attempt, the Bulldogs marched downfield only to see a late equalizing opportunity and a 12-game unbeaten streak in non-conference play halted.
Johnson played the final half in goal, stopping one shot. Senior CJ Winship drew the starting nod, also making one save in the contest.
South Alabama starter Melissa Drish turned away eight Bulldog attempts in a contest that saw the squads combine for 39 shots.
The Jaguars claimed a 22-17 shots advantage, but State took a 12-9 edge in on-goal opportunities. South Alabama earned nine corner kicks to MSU’s four.
The Bulldogs open the home slate Sunday, hosting Arkansas State in a 1 p.m. kickoff at the MSU Soccer Field. Admission to the contest is free, and Bulldog summer campers are invited to come to the match wearing their camp T-shirts for an on-field recognition.
Free ice cream and Frisbees will be given away to the first 100 fans, and the Bulldogs will sign autographs following the contest.
For a full slate of this season’s Bulldog soccer promotions, go to www.hailstate.com/promotions.
MSU (0-1-0) vs. South Alabama (1-0-0)
Date: Aug 23, 2013 Attendance: 742
Weather: 79 degrees, sunny
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
MSU................. 0 2 - 2
South Alabama....... 1 2 - 3
1. 34:47 USA Allison, Lauren (1) (Mayer, Alyssa) - long ball from left flank, touch past keeper, shot
3. 56:09 USA Allison, Lauren (2) (Duncan, Jordan) - pass in area from to right side of goal, far post shot
4. 60:18 USA Duncan, Jordan (1) (Perry, Tatum) - cross from perry on endline, chest in from 4 yards out by duncan
5. 82:52 MSU Elisabeth Sullivan (1) (unassisted) - cross into area fumbled by keeper, one-touch shot into open goal
Shots: MSU 17, South Alabama 22
(Drish, Melissa 8; TEAM 2)