MOBILE, Ala. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - For the first time in program history, Mississippi State's soccer team has started consecutive seasons with four straight wins. The Bulldogs won, 3-0, at South Alabama on Sunday afternoon.
"I'm pleased with the result," head coach Tom Anagnost said. "I'm glad we were able to get more people in the game. It's hard to win no matter what. We scored three goals though and didn't allow any. That's great."
Freshman Zakirah McGillivary opened the scoring in the 36th minute. Sophomore Gabriella Coleman dribbled down the wing, cut inside and made a pass to McGillivary who scored from the top of the box.
State held an 11-0 edge in shots at halftime.
Five minutes into the second half, sophomore AK Ward found herself one-on-one with a defender at the top of the box. Junior MaKayla Waldner came running alongside her and received a short pass before firing a shot low to the back post for MSU's second goal.
Shortly after the goal, the Jaguars' Anita Agustsdottir was given a red card for retaliating against redshirt sophomore Olivia Hernandez. Hernandez was given a yellow card on the play. Freshmen Hailey Farrington-Bentil and Niah Johnson would also receive yellow cards in the final minutes of the match.
"Obviously, the red card changed everything for them," Anagnost said. "We scored three goals, but we left another few on the table."
In the 69th minute, the teams stopped for a water break before the Bulldogs took a throw in. The ball landed at freshman Monigo Karnley's feet. Karnley turned and found Johnson just off the penalty spot who fired the ball home for her first career goal.
MSU was forced to defend six corners, just one shy of their total through the first three games of the year, but the defense held the Jaguars to just three shots on goal. Redshirt senior Rhylee DeCrane stopped all of them to earn her third shutout of the year.
State put up 25 shots matching their best performance last season. The Bulldogs attempted 25 against Colgate on Sept. 3, last year. The game also marked the second time in 2018, that MSU held an opponent to five shots or less.