Tupelo native Weatherly leads to Rebels shutout win

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Senior team captain Hannah Weatherly scored a pair of goals and Ole Miss (6-2) moved back into the win column with a convincing 4-0 win over Florida Atlantic University (2-5-2) Sunday afternoon at the FAU Soccer Complex.

After a hard-fought defeat at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes on Friday, Steve Holeman’s Rebels rebounded in impressive style in their non-conference finale against the Owls, out-shooting the home team 30-4 and collecting their sixth shutout victory of the year.

“This is certainly not a game we took for granted,” Holeman said. “We had a lot of factors working against us. It was really hot out there today, 90 degrees and sunny. The conditions haven’t been like that in Oxford for a while, and our girls aren’t used to it. We got a lot of value out of our substitutions early in the first half that paid huge dividends throughout the game. Every field player we had available we played. Florida Atlantic also made subs, but I think we were deeper than they were, and that was the difference.”

The Rebels controlled possession and remained on the attack throughout, scoring twice in each half. Weatherly put her team ahead 1-0 at the 8:28 mark on a penalty kick, her first of two scores on the day.

“I think Alix (Hildal) played me the ball, I dribbled down the side and the girl took me out in the box,” Weatherly said of the foul that led to her PK. “It was the right call. I just had to keep my composure because I kind of got the breath knocked out of me. It’s just a great feeling to be back out there and be part of it on the field. My teammates have been doing great all season, and I’m glad to be able to get out there with them and contribute for the team.”

Mary Bailey Wickham notched the first goal of her collegiate career to give Ole Miss a 2-0 advantage in the 31st minute when she drilled a low shot from the left side past the FAU keeper to the far post.

The Ole Miss shots and goals did not stop after halftime. Less than two minutes into the second period, Weatherly knocked in her second goal of the game when Danielle Johnson struck a free kick into the box that was flicked ahead by Taylor Cunningham and finished by Weatherly on a nice double-assist set piece. Weatherly tallied multiple goals for the first time in her Rebel career.

Kelsey Breathitt finished out the scoring at the 60:22 mark on a 15-yard strike to the lower left portion of the goal, on Kendyl Mygatt’s team-leading fifth assist of the season and her fifth in three matches. The goal was Breathitt’s fourth of the year.

Alley Ronaldi pitched her fourth individual shutout of the year, needing to make only one save in 90 minutes of work between the posts.

“We created a lot of opportunities,” Holeman said. “It was a good win on the road in this heat. I’m pleased with how we played. I don’t think at times we played our best soccer, but it took a lot of hard work and effort to keep a clean sheet. Now we move to SEC play, which is always extremely competitive, and I think the games this weekend helped us prepare for the challenge ahead.”

Ole Miss plays each of its first four Southeastern Conference matches at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium, kicking it off with Alabama this Friday night at 7 p.m. CT. Sunday’s Auburn match will be televised nationally by ESPNU with a 2 p.m. start.

Ole Miss Media Relations