SportsSoccerSouthern Miss Soccer advances to Conference USA Championship match

Southern Miss Soccer advances to Conference USA Championship match

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Southern Miss Soccer has advanced to the Conference USA Final for the second time in program history after earning a late goal in a 2-1 victory against UAB.

With three minutes remaining in the game, freshman Mia Sadler fired a shot on goal, which Blazers goalkeeper Eve Beyer deflected. Senior Ariel Diaz recovered the ball and fired the goal into the net before Beyer could recover. Diaz’ goal proved to be the game-winner as Southern Miss held its lead to the final buzzer.

The Golden Eagles started the game with a 1-0 deficit early as UAB’s Morgan Halliwill scored in the 18th minute.

While accumulating 11 shots in the first half, Southern Miss went into the break scoreless.

However, the Golden Eagles gained momentum early in the second half and scored a goal in the 54th minute on a header from Madisyn Flammia, which was assisted on a free kick from Ilana Izquierdo.

“I’m proud of the composure the Golden Eagles have shown throughout the first half. We went down, but we played our game plan. We played the Southern Miss way,” Head Coach Mohammed El-Zare said. “We were able to make a couple of adjustments that gave us a little more momentum, but also gave us more possession. The ladies scored two beautiful goals.”

Strong play from senior goalkeeper Kendell Mindnich kept the game tied as she earned four saves in the second half and a total of seven in the game. UAB fired a total of 18 shots against Southern Miss.

Mindnich earned her 31st win, becoming the winningest goalkeeper in Southern Miss history.

Diaz earned her fourth goal of the season on the game-winning goal in the second half.

A year after losing in the C-USA Semifinals in penalty shootouts and three seasons removed from falling in the championship match in shootouts, Southern Miss will fight again for a chance to earn the first conference championship in program history.

Southern Miss will play Old Dominion in the Final on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 1:00 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN +.

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