ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Erin Emerson notched her first goal of the season in the 81st minute to pull the Ole Miss Lady Rebels into a tie with top-seeded Florida at the Southestern Conference Tournament on Wednesday night. The tie didn’t turn into a lead for the Lady Rebels, who lost 2-1 to the Lady Gators and were eliminated from the SEC Tournament. Ole Miss fell to 13-9 overall, while Florida improved to 15-4-1.
Ole Miss’ Sara Coleman took a corner kick after a flurry of Lady Rebel shots and sent it into the box where it was headed by Mandy McCalla over to Emerson on the far side. Emerson drilled the shot to tie the match for the Lady Rebels in the 81st minute of play. It was the first goal of the season for Emerson.
But the Gators responded in the 89th minute when Ole Miss was called for a foul at the top of the penalty box, setting up a free kick. Erika Tymrak lined up the shot and sent it over the wall and into the net to put the top-seeded Gators on top for good.
“We just tried to play as hard as we could,” Ole Miss coach Matthew Mott said. “It was a great finish by Florida on the second goal. Our kids came out and battled like crazy in the second half and I’m really proud of them.”
The Lady Rebels weathered an early attack from the Florida offense as the Gators got off two quick shots before the Ole Miss defense settled in and turn the stop into an attack by sending the ball quickly the other way.
Florida got on the board early with a goal in the 12th minute as Jo Dragotta took a pass in the box from Tessa Andujar and put it in the net to give the Gators the 1-0 lead.
Despite surrendering the early goal, the Ole Miss defense played well in the first half, turning back several Florida attacks to limit the damage and keep the game to a one goal margin at the break.
The Lady Rebels will now wait for the announcement of the NCAA Tournament bracket on Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. (November 1, 2012, Page 8)