MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In his team’s first exhibition match of the season, Mississippi State coach Aaron Gordon wanted to see toughness and effort.
Wednesday morning, he got both as the Bulldogs defeated Memphis 1-0 in front of several hundred fans at the Lady Tigers’ on-campus practice facility.
MSU, which concludes preseason action at 7 p.m. Saturday at Alabama, got its lone goal at the 21-minute mark of the opening frame when Morgan Ferrara crossed a pass to Shannen Jainudeen, who sent the ball to the left corner just out of the reach of the goalie.
“Memphis is a good, well-coached team with good players,” Gordon said. “Not only was this a good matchup to prepare us for the season, when you have basically a new team like us, you want to see if we give good, consistent effort and toughness. We got that, and because we did those two things, we got the win.”
The Bulldogs also got a spectacular performance from freshman goalie Rhylee DeCrane.
The Myrtle Beach, S.C., native garnered the coveted shutout after collecting three saves on nine Memphis shots and playing the entire 90 minutes.
“She was really good out there for us,” Gordon said. “She’s got good feet and good hands and is quick as a cat.”
Now the attention turns toward the Crimson Tide. The two SEC foes can play an exhibition match because they don’t square off against one another in the regular season.
“Now, we get to see what we can do next,” Gordon said. “Playing two games relatively close will mirror the regular season. We’ll see how we recover, re-evaluate what we do and if we can improve. That’s going to be key. We need to see progress in all three areas.”
The regular season officially begins Friday, Aug. 22 at home against Iowa State.