Magnolia Cup stays home for second year in a row

Sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Anderson holds the Magnolia Cup after a comeback win over Ole Miss.

For the second straight time, the Mississippi State University women's soccer team bested the 13th ranked University of Mississippi Rebels this past Thursday night in the yearly Magnolia Cup game via a final score of 3-2.

This marked the fifth win of the season for the Bulldogs, putting their final record at 5-8-3. While this record wasn't enough to punch their ticket to the SEC tournament this year, it was enough to take home a win in a statement rivalry. 

Senior forward Monigo Karnley detailed what this year meant to the senior members of the Bulldog soccer team like herself.

"It's amazing, I mean, all the seniors are such good girls. They're going to be my best friends, so it's been good," Karnley said. 

Karnley delivered in her senior performance with the Bulldogs' tying goal in the 61st minute of the game. 

It would be the next goal, however, that would be the shining moment of the night for Bulldog fans in attendance and on Twitter. 

In the 78th minute, with the game still tied, MSU was awarded a penalty kick off of an Ole Miss foul. 

Much to the surprise of Bulldog fans, writers and everyone else in attendance, sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Anderson lined up to take the kick. 

If she missed it, simply due to the physics of soccer, an essentially open net would have been plopped right into the laps of the Rebels. 

If she made it, the Magnolia Cup stayed home, the seniors got their sendoff and the slim hopes of a chance at an SEC tournament bid would have remained alive. 

Anderson then reared back and fired what could only be described as a perfect penalty kick to set the score at 3-2. The Bulldogs held on to their narrow lead through to the final buzzer, and were able to finally tie a bow on what has been one roller coaster of a season. 

When asked about her shining moment after the game, Anderson related it to the amount of work she has put in day after day in practice. 

"I've been practicing for weeks and just waiting for my turn. I saw (coach) Nick just be like 'yep, you're up'... so I just put the ball down. I know what to do, it's not anything different than practice."

Even though the season did not end with a bid to the tournament, MSU Women's soccer head coach Jim Armstrong voiced his thoughts on the effort the girls gave this year.

"The girls have worked so hard all season and it's a testament to what they deserved," Armstrong said. "... We responded every time they threw something at us and I felt we were the better team on the night ... it's so huge that we're keeping the Magnolia Cup here in Starkville."

That it is, coach. 

MSU will certainly look forward to a good number of key players returning next season, as the Bulldogs will try for another bid to the coveted SEC tournament. 

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