OXFORD, Miss. - Arkansas scored on one of the top defensive teams in the Southeastern Conference, but the top scoring team in the league scored twice in a five-minute stretch of the first half and No. 22 Ole Miss opened league play with a 4-1 soccer victory over Arkansas on Friday.
Arkansas held the Rebel offense in check for 27 minutes before Ole Miss broke through with two goals in each period.
In the 28th minute, Mandy McCalla scored inside the six off a cross from Rafaelle Souza to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead. Defender Kaylyn Cooper broke up the initial attack, but the Rebels quickly got the ball back inside and scored off the cross.
Five minutes later, Souza scored inside the box off a pass from Erin Emerson. Defender Blake Pruitt just missed a steal to stop the threat, but Emerson got to a loose ball and delivered the pass inside to Souza.
Ole Miss, now 8-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the SEC, entered the game leading the SEC in goals with 26 and in goals per game with 3.71. Those first-half scores were the eighth for both McCalla and Souza. Both players scored again in the second half with Souza giving Ole Miss a 3-0 lead and McCalla's score accounting for the final 4-1 margin.
"Between the 18s, we were good again," head coach Colby Hale said. "We're growing. You have to credit Ole Miss. When we made a mistake, they punished us. We gave them four good chances and they scored on all four of them."
Through the first period, Ole Miss had just a 6-3 advantage in shots, but four Rebel shots were on goal.
Ole Miss' offense has generated attention, but defensively the Rebels have allowed just four goals this year and entered the game third in the SEC with 0.43 goals allowed per game. The Razorbacks figured out the Ole Miss defense in the 73rd minute when Lindsey Mayo got inside the box for a one-on-one with the keeper and knocked it in.
he Razorbacks nearly tallied another score in the 82nd minute when Mayo crossed from the far side to Jeriann Okoro inside the six. Ole Miss keeper Kelly McCormick covered the ball just before Okoro could attempt a shot.
Ole Miss added another score with just over a minute to play following yellow card on Tyler Allen at the edge of the 18. McCalla, with the free kick from the near corner of the box, fired a line drive over the outstretched hands of Roliard for the score.
Arkansas, 3-4-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the SEC, created the first scoring chance in the game. Just two minutes in, Andrea Carlson took a pass into the deep left corner and crossed in the middle to Allie Chandler. About 10 yards out, Chandler tapped a pass across to Ashleigh Ellenwood, but her shot was just wide right.
At the 15-minute mark, the Rebels crossed in front of the goal at point blank range. Teni Butler partially blocked the pass. While on the ground, Roliard crawled to the ball and covered it before the Rebels could get a shot off.
At the 26-minute mark, Phyllis George got by her defender in the Ole Miss box for a potential one-on-keeper situation, but was called for a foul.
Less than two minutes later, Ole Miss was on the board for the first time.
Souza scored again eight minutes into the second period, getting the goal off a cross from the outside for a 3-0 lead at the 53-minute mark after a pass from Bethany Bunker. Twenty minutes later, Mayo got the Razorbacks on the board.
With less than two minutes to play, McCalla accounted for the final margin.
For the game, Ole Miss had a 12-6 shots advantage and a 9-1 lead in shots on goal.
Arkansas had an 8-5 lead in corners, but the Razorbacks were called for 11 fouls to six on Ole Miss.
The game was the second straight for Arkansas against a ranked opponent. On Sunday, the Razorbacks fell at home to No. 1 Florida State, 1-0.
Arkansas stays on the road for Sunday's noon contest at Georgia.