In the 22nd all-time meeting between the Memphis women’s soccer team and Ole Miss, the Tigers stole a 3-1 win at the Billy J. Murphy Complex after Clarissa Larisey, AAC Offensive Player of the Week, notched a last-minute goal seconds after a Rebel’s own goal. The junior forward from Ottawa, Ontario followed her instinct when she saw the ball and an open pitch.
“For me, my job is to just take care of the defense, and if I see a ball, I know I can get… I’ll get it, and just go full speed,” Larisey said.
Before the home team broke the hearts of the Rebels, it was a back-and-forth battle in the first half after the SEC team broke deadlock early in the 21st minute after a loose ball found the back in the net to silence the rowdy Memphis crowd. The Tigers were not even down for 10 minutes due to Tanya Boychuck converting a penalty kick in the 31st minute. The 2018 AAC All-Rookie Team member tallied her third goal on the year after notching a brace in the season opener against Little Rock, and she already has met her 2018 season total when she finished her rookie campaign with three goals and an assist.
A different Memphis team came out the second half as they dominated offensively with 14 total shots compared to Ole Miss’ four shot. Drama arose when Elizabeth Moberg, 2019 AAC Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, was handed a red card after it was ruled she was impeding on a scoring opportunity after coming out her box to play a loose ball. Backup keeper, Rachel Ashworth Shepard, came in for her second appearance of the year and held her own for the remaining 25 minutes.
Throughout the half, Samantha Murphy struck woodwork and a long shot from Serena Dolan was saved on a desperation dive from the Rebel goalie to keep the visiting side on their heels. Their grit payed off as Mya Jones, AAC Rookie of the Week, sent a ball in the box but an Ole Miss defender gifted the goal to Memphis after it deflected off her leg.
The new seating arrangements at the complex allowed fans, more specifically athletes from men’s soccer, softball, baseball, basketball and so on, to watch the game right behind the visitor’s goal. Larisey was grateful for the motivation given to the squad from fellow Tigers.
“Just knowing that we have so much support and that a lot of athletes came to support us, obviously hyped us up,” Larisey said.
After the match, Head Coach Brooks Monaghan said that he truly had one word to describe his team’s performance after his 9th all-time win against Ole Miss.
“Inspiring,” Monaghan said. “I couldn’t be prouder of this group. They had a choice to make. It’s kind of like, ‘do we look at the glass half empty or half full?’ They looked at it half full and kept fighting.”
The 2018 AAC Conference Tournament Champions starts their season with a 2-0 start, and now head to Lawrence, Kansas, in their first meeting in program history against the Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks received 30 votes in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll and scored 10 goals and allowed none in their two matches against Nebraska and Loyola-Chicago. The No. 20 ranked Tigers kick-off Thursday’s match at 7 p.m. CDT.