STARKVILLE, Miss. – Rivals meet for the 20th time Thursday as the Mississippi State soccer teams seeks to retain the Magnolia Cup when it travels to Oxford to close the season against No. 25 Ole Miss.
Opening kick for the Halloween battle is set for 7 p.m.
The Magnolia Cup rivalry has been a spirited one, with the Bulldogs claiming the cup two of the last three seasons.
Mississippi State (3-14, 0-10 SEC) regained possession of the Magnolia Cup last season with a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory in Starkville. Elisabeth Sullivan scored twice, including the golden goal, to lift the Maroon & White to the victory.
The overtime winner gave the Memphis native the MSU career goals record, one she has shattered behind a 15-goal senior campaign that ties the school’s single-season record.
Sullivan tied the top mark in last Friday’s 3-1 setback against Alabama. She nearly set the record against No. 13 South Carolina, pushing her attempt just wide of target in the 1-0 setback.
Sullivan will look to top the record in a match that features another one of the nation’s top scorers in Rafaelle Souza, who has staked the Rebels to a 13-4-2 overall record and 6-3-1 SEC mark.
Souza scored the golden goal in a 2-1 overtime win against Alabama Sunday, putting her one ahead of Sullivan with 16 goals on the year. Souza’s tally rates second in the SEC and seventh nationally, while Sullivan sits just behind at fourth in the league and 11th in the NCAA.
In last weekend’s final home matches, Grimes moved into second place in career minutes played with 6,645. Winship, a Ridgeland native, stopped eight shots against Alabama and five more in the tough 1-0 setback to No. 13 South Carolina.Fans can follow MSU soccer on Twitter (@HailStateSOC), Facebook (Facebook.com/HailStateSOC) and Instagram (HailStateSOC). Mississippi State athletics can also be found on FanCred by going to http://www.fancred.com/go/hailstate/.