Derby Day on tap as football takes on Memphis on Sunday

NOPE. 18 OLE MISS (1-0-0, 0-0-0 SEC)
against NO. 22 MEMPHIS (1-0-0, 0-0-0 American)

Sunday, August 21 • 7 p.m. CT • Oxford, Miss.

Ole Miss Football Stadium

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• Ole Miss continues the start of the 2022 season with the annual derby against Memphis.
• Sunday’s game will be Ole Miss’s 25th all-time game against Memphis, making the Tigers the Rebels’ most frequent opponent outside of the SEC.
• Previous 24 meetings equal or exceed four SEC opponents in Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.
• Ole Miss opened the 2022 season on Thursday with a 5-0 win over Southeastern at Oxford. The five goals were the most for the Rebels since the 2019 season and the most season opener since scoring six against Louisiana in 2018.
• The five goals are also tied with LSU for the most by an SEC team.
• Four of the five goals were scored from set pieces, three from a corner and one from a free kick.
Taylor Radecki assisted on all three corner kick goals, giving the elder the SEC lead.
Mo O’Connor scored the 14th goal of his career, adding two assists. O’Connor’s four points are tied with LSU’s Taylor Dobles for most in the SEC.
• Before Thursday’s game, the rebel keeper Ashley Orkus was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List for the third straight season.

In his 23rd season at the helm, Brooks Monaghan has made the Memphis program one of the best, not just at the non-Power 5 level, but in the entire country. Monaghan led the Tigers to 10 total NCAA Tournament appearances, including four straight.

Chosen to win the American Athletic Conference, the No. 22-ranked Tigers are 1-0 after a 6-1 win over Little Rock on Thursday. Memphis finished the 2021 season at 14-5-2, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a victory over LSU and ranking No. 20 in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll.

The Tigers are returning two of three players who tied for the team lead with six goals last season. USA and Canada international Tanya Boychuk is back, although the fifth-year senior didn’t play in the season opener due to injury. AAC All-Rookie winner Jocelyn Alonzo also returns but transfers to sophomore Mr Aubrey will line her up on the other side of the court as a member of the Ole Miss roster. Memphis also has two All-ACC preseason winners in senior Saorla Miller and junior Grace Stordy.

For the first time in five years, it will be someone other than Elizabeth Moberg in goal for Memphis as the Tigers’ all-time leader in wins and clean sheets ended his college career in 2021 UNCW transfer Kaylie Bierman was given the go-ahead to start Thursday against Little Rock, allowing one goal.

Sunday’s affair will be the 25th edition of the derby between Ole Miss and Memphis. The two teams have shared the last three meetings with a win, a draw and a loss each in what has become a very home and away game. Ole Miss has an all-time advantage of 12-9-3, but has lost two of the last three meetings at Oxford.

LAST MEETING (08/22/21)
Facing a tough test to open the season in hostile territory, Ole Miss fought back behind Molly Martin’s second-half equalizer to secure a 1-1 draw in the derby.

Ole Miss’ best look of the top 45 came in the 21st minute as Channing Foster dropped a ball and hit the half volley from the top of the box. The elder hit it well but couldn’t hold back the attempt, knocking it over the bar.

Minutes later, Memphis struck, with Jocelyn Alonzo cleaning up her own rebound on a Ashley Orkus save to send the Rebels in the locker room down one goal.

It didn’t take long for Ole Miss to turn things around in the second half, with Memphis native Martin leveling the score in the 55th minute. With the ball bouncing in the box on a fresh serve, Foster was able to get the slightest touch, putting the ball in Martin’s path. The elder took full advantage, passing the ball past Tigers keeper Elizabeth Moberg.

With a brand new game in hand, both sides pressed but neither could find a winner as the rivals settled for a hard-fought draw.


While the first goal of any season is special, the Rebels’ opening tally of the 2022 season on Thursday came with a bit of added meaning. Fourteen minutes into the game, freshman in red shirt Lauren Montgomery cleaned one Mo O’Connor bounced back and slid the ball under the keeper for his first college goal, just over a year after tearing his ACL during the 2021 preseason and missing his true freshman campaign.

In his 13th season leading the Ole Miss program, Matt Word is the fourth longest serving head coach in the SEC. Mott is also the third-longest-serving starting head coach at Ole Miss.

The SEC’s longest-serving head coaches
1. G Guerreiri (Texas A&M) – 29 seasons
2. Karen Hoppa (Auburn) – 24 seasons
3. Shelley Smith (South Carolina) – 22 seasons
4. Matt Word (Ole Miss) – 13 seasons
5. Colby Hale (Arkansas) – 11 seasons

When the lights shine brightest, the rebel attacker Mo O’Connor takes his game to another level. Of O’Connor’s 14 career goals, eight have come against conference opposition, including five of seven in 2021. O’Connor’s five league goals last season were tied for the most in the conference.

With the departure of star players like Channing Foster, Haleigh Stackpole and Molly Martin, Ole Miss will have plenty of firepower to replace in 2022. Foster finished his career with 44 goals, tied for second most in program history, while Stackpole’s 31 assists rank third overall times at Ole Miss, including 16 assists in 2021 alone. . Meanwhile, Martin and his aerial threat led the Rebels with 10 goals a season ago. Overall, Ole Miss will need to replace 25 of 36 goals (69.4%), 23 of 44 assists (52.3%) and 73 of 116 points (62.9%) from the 2021 season.

Of the 36 goals scored by Ole Miss during the 2021 season, 13 of them were from a free kick. Of those 13 goals from set pieces, 10 were scored either from a corner kick or from a long throw-in.

Entering his fourth season between the posts for the Rebels, goalkeeper Ashley Orkus sits near the top of the Ole Miss record books in several statistical categories. Below is a breakdown of Orkus’ approach to program recordings:

1. Kelly McCormick (2011-2014) – 297
2. Marnie Merritt (2014-18) 277

3. Ashley Orkus (2018-pres.) 251
4. Melinda Smith (1998-2001) 232

1. Kelly McCormick (2011-2014) – 42
2. Marnie Merritt (2014-18) – 40

3. Ashley Orkus (2018-pres.) – 33
4. Brittany Gillespie (2000-03) – 32

1. Kelly McCormick (2011-2014) – 22
Brittany Gillespie (2000-03) – 22
3. Marnie Merritt (2014-18) – 21

4. Ashley Orkus (2018-pres.) – 19
5. Ann Shelton (2004-07) – 18

Ole Miss is one of five SEC teams to have had an offer in at least five of the last seven seasons (Arkansas, Auburn, South Carolina, Texas A&M) and also one of five SEC teams to appear in four of the last five NCAA tournaments.

For the second year running, Ole Miss is ranked in United’s Football Managers’ Pre-Season Poll, coming in at No. 18. The Rebels were ranked No. 23 in the 2021 Pre-Season Poll. last season, Ole Miss had never been ranked in pre-season by United Soccer Coaches. The Rebels are one of four SEC teams ranked in the 2022 iteration of the poll, joining Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Ole miss keeper Ashley Orkus was named to the 2022 Preseason Top First Team. This is the second year in a row that the SEC’s two-time Goalie of the Year has been named to the First Team. Orkus has also received TopDrawerSoccer playoff best XI honors for the past two seasons, earning a first-team nod in 2020 and landing in the third team in 2021.

Fans can follow everything happening around the Ole Miss football program by following the Rebels on the team’s various social media platforms. You can find the Rebs on Twitter at @OleMissSoccer, on Instagram at @OfficialOleMissSoccer or on Facebook by searching ‘Ole Miss Soccer’. Fans can also now follow Ole Miss on TikTok at @OleMissWSoccer.

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