STARKVILLE, Miss. – Aaron Gordon gets the first look at his team in competitive action Wednesday when the Mississippi State soccer team heads to Memphis for a 10 a.m. exhibition against the University of Memphis.
The contest will be held at the Park Avenue Campus practice fields, and will be the first of two friendlies for the Bulldogs this season. MSU’s second comes Saturday when the Dawgs trek to Tuscaloosa Saturday for a 7 p.m. kick against Alabama.
“We are excited to be able to have the opportunity to see how our young team performs against a very talented and veteran Memphis team,” Gordon said. “This game will also give us the chance to see how our veterans step up and lead this young group. They have come out and worked very hard for us, and having the opportunity to play against a quality opponent will give us a good gauge of where we are wrapping up the preseason.”
The pair previously played together on the defensive line, but this season marks a move to the central forward position for the Bulldogs’ lone senior. Jainudeen showed dangerous potential there in the spring, netting three goals.
The Bulldogs also got a spark in the spring from freshman Morgan Ferrara, who tallied four goals during the exhibition slate after enrolling in January.
Jordan has been a staple at the right back position since coming to campus. She enters her third season bringing veteran experience to a young defensive line after starting all 38 games of her career.
The pair of exhibition contests will allow Gordon to get a feel for a young program that features a roster full of 19 freshmen.
Gordon will seek those youngsters to try and fill the scoring lost with two-time all-SEC standout Elisabeth Sullivan, who scored 16 goals a year ago en route to being drafted in the fourth round of the NWSL Draft by the Portland Thorns.
The Tigers counter with a veteran squad that returns 10 starters from last year’s squad that went 13-7-1. Two of those starters will be missing as Kylie Davis and Valerie Sanderson, the team’s top returning scorer, are off playing for Canada in the U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Memphis will have last year’s assists leader Kaitlyn Atkins back, as well as goalkeeper Maryse Bard-Martel who stopped 79 shots a year ago.