Ole Miss Women’s Soccer upsets Southern Cal in NCAA Tournament to advance to Sweet 16

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Ole Miss goalkeeper Ashley Orkus skies high for the ball on Friday night against Southern Cal. (Photo: Tanner Barth, WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW Sports)–Ole Miss used two goals in the final 22 minutes of regulation and three saves by junior goalkeeper Ashley Orkus in the penalty kick shootout to advance past Southern California in the second round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship at the UNCW Soccer Stadium on Friday evening.

The Rebels (10-5-2) and Trojans (7-3-4) played to a 2-2 double overtime draw before Ole Miss outlasted USC, 3-2, in the shootout.

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Senior forward Channing Foster gave Ole Miss a 1-0 lead in the first round of the shootout when she slipped her attempt past redshirt senior goalkeeper Kaylie Collins. USC missed its opening try before each team failed to convert in the second round.

After Collins thwarted an attempt by senior forward Madisyn Pezzino to open the third round, sophomore Olufolasade Adamolekun evened the score with a shot to the right side of the goal past Orkus.

Both teams converted their shootout try in the fourth round before the Rebels reclaimed the advantage in the fifth round when sophomore forward Mo O’Connor blasted a shot into the upper part of the goal.

Senior forward Tara McKeown stepped to the penalty spot with a chance to tie the shootout, but her shot was stopped by Orkus to complete the Rebels’ comeback.

Southern California, the No. 8 national seed, surged to a 2-0 lead in the first half. After McKeown netted her eighth goal in the 23rd minute, freshman Zoe Burns tallied the first goal of her college career when she knocked in a rebound of a McKeown shot with 2:18 left in the period.

But, Ole Miss rallied to even the score and force overtime. With 21:44 remaining in regulation, junior midfielder Haleigh Stackpole converted a pass from Pezzino for her fourth goal of the year to trim the deficit to 2-1.

Just under 10 minutes later, Stackpole sent a corner kick into the box, which freshman forward Ramsey Davis collected and drove into the goal for her fourth marker of the season.

USC had a chance to win the game less than two minutes into the first overtime period when the Trojans were awarded a penalty kick, but the attempt by junior forward Penelope Hocking was stopped by Orkus to keep the score even at 2-all.

Orkus made eight saves in the game for Ole Miss, which was outshot by a 22-10 margin. Collins recorded two saves for the Trojans, who end the season with an eight-match unbeaten streak.

Ole Miss advances to the third round on Wednesday, May 5, to face the winner of the Duke-Arizona State contest at WakeMed Soccer Park.