STARKVILLE, Miss. – Elisabeth Sullivan scored a goal and added two assists as Mississippi State rolled to a 3-0 win against Louisiana-Monroe Friday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
Mississippi State did all of its scoring in the first half en route to improving to 4-0-0 on the season. Sullivan capped the scoring with her fourth goal of the season. Freshman Honeye Heydari and sophomore Amy Hoover added the Bulldogs’ other two goals.
“From the 20-minute mark on I thought we played really well. We moved the ball quickly and created a lot of offensive chances,” Neil Macdonald said. “We need to tighten some things up defensively in the transition, but overall, I’m very pleased.
“Elisabeth, Amy and Honeye are playing really well and moving the ball quickly,” he added. “They are making good decisions when it comes to taking players on, and they are combining really well when they need to.”
State took a season second-most 30 shots in the game, putting 13 chances on frame. The Bulldog defense turned in its second-straight blank sheet in the win. Goalies Skylar Rosson and CJ Winship didn’t have much work on the evening as MSU held the Warhawks to just four shots, all coming in the second half.
MSU didn’t have to wait long for the game’s first strike. Morganne Grimes connected with Sullivan, and she then slipped a ball between defenders to freshman Heydari for her third goal of the season in the 12th minute.
Hoover extended the lead to 2-0 as she netted her third goal of the campaign in the 41st minute. Zehra Syed found Sullivan, and the Memphis, Tenn., native connected a pass to Hoover for a shot that sailed over the keeper and into the far post.
After assisting on the first two goals, Sullivan decided get into the scoring column four minutes later. Freshman Mary Kathryn Taylor sent a diagonal pass across the field, and it slipped by the ULM defender to Sullivan, who fired it into the back of the net to give the Bulldogs the 3-0 halftime edge.
“We were stringing passes really well. Honeye and I are really beginning to click. We were playing really good through balls all night,” Sullivan said.
Although the Bulldogs were unable to add to the scoring in the second half, they continued to dominate the offensive end of the pitch, firing 15 shots.
The Dawgs opened the stanza with five shots in five minutes, culminating with attempts from Heydari and Dana Forbes that were saved by ULM keeper Alex Holland.
Sullivan nearly had her second goal of the night in the 65th minute, but Warhawk reserve goalie Karlin Aloisio made the save.
Aloisio denied the Dawgs again in the 72nd minute. Jasmine Simmons fired a brilliant free kick toward the top shelf, but Aloisio dove to her right and managed to deflect the ball away.
Rosson did not have to make a save on the night, while sophomore CJ Winship stopped ULM’s lone on-goal chance in her MSU debut.
Mississippi State returns to the home pitch Sunday, hosting Georgia State in a noon kickoff. Fans can follow Bulldog soccer on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstateSOC) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstateSOC).