Mississippi State Heads North For Big Ten Swing
Published 5:21 pm Thursday, September 2, 2021
STARKVILLE – For the first time in its history the Mississippi State soccer team will meet a Big Ten opponent when the Bulldogs travel north for a pair of matches against the conference this week.
State (2-2-0) is set to play at Minnesota (2-0-1) on Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT before heading to Iowa to meet the Hawkeyes on Sunday. Thursday’s match will be broadcast on Big Ten Network+ and is accessible with a separate subscription.
“The girls are excited to play a different kind of opposition,” head coach James Armstrong said. “These are two really good teams that will give us great preparation to see where we’re at right now, but also putting us in good standing for future games in the SEC.”
Minnesota has yet to allow a goal this season, claiming a pair of 1-0 victories and battling to a scoreless draw with Illinois-Chicago. In their last match against Drake, a penalty kick was the only goal scored.
“Very physical, very organized, fast, aggressive,” Amstrong said of the Gophers. “They’re dynamic going forward, but they’re also very tight and organized defensively. They’re a really good squad and a team that’s going to come out and defend their home territory. We’re excited to test ourselves.”
The Bulldogs are coming off a 1-0 victory against Southeast Missouri that saw them pump 19 shots at the net, landing nine on target. Maddy Anderson made five saves for her second shutout of the year while freshmen Ally Perry and Hannah Johnson picked up their first career points with assists on the game-winning goal.
With Sunday’s win, MSU improved to 15-0-2 under Armstrong when scoring first. That’s been key as MSU is a perfect 12-0-0 in his tenure when leading at halftime. MSU has only led at the break once this season, but the Bulldogs have made strong second-half surges. State’s taken 32 of its 55 shots (58.2 percent) this year in the second half.
Following Thursday’s match, the Bulldogs will make the drive to Iowa. They will practice at Iowa on Friday and Saturday before meeting the Hawkeyes at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday. That match will also air on Big Ten Network+.