ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Ole Miss’ Rafaelle Souza scored the game-winning goal with 43 seconds to play in regulation to give the Rebels a 1-0 victory in Monday’s opening round of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Women’s Soccer tournament.
The Rebels capitalized on a counter attack in the 90th minute when Souza ran onto a pass from Jessica Hiskey and fired from the top of the penalty area inside the right post to give the No. 9 seed a berth in the quarterfinal round against No. 1-seed Florida on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Alex Ramsey provided the Tigers with their best opportunity to score in the final minute of the match when Jade Kovacevic played a ball into the box from near the right sideline. Ramsey shielded an Ole Miss defender and fired a strike from 8 yards that forced a save from Rebel goalkeeper Kelly McCormick.
McCormick immediately put the ball back in play as the Rebels went on the counter attack. Souza scored the game-winner just seconds later.
LSU goalkeeper Megan Kinneman saved six shots. Kinneman now ranks No. 2 on LSU’s all-time single-season list with 117 saves on the season.
The Tigers (9-8-4) suffered their first defeat to the Rebels (13-8) in four years and saw their five-game unbeaten streak in the series snapped. It marked LSU’s first defeat to its SEC West rival since a 1-0 shutout in Oxford during the 2008 regular season.
“I’ve been in the SEC for eight years, and every year it gets better and better,” Lee said. “It’s only getting better in the future. The recruiting of all the SEC schools is headed in the right direction, and it will only be so long before we’re filling the Top 10. This is going to be a tremendous tournament here this week.”