Mississippi State soccer coach Neil Macdonald was looking for a tight and physical match going into Southeastern Conference play this week.
He got one Sunday night against in-state opponent Southern Mississippi.
The Golden Eagles pushed the Bulldogs through regulation and into overtime before a goal by Jasmine Simmons at the 7:12 mark of the extra frame gave MSU a 1-0 victory at its home field.
"You are delighted to get the win, but we are glad that we got stretched and pushed out of our comfort zone for most of the game," Macdonald said. "It helps our young players because most of the team were freshmen and sophomores that started (Sunday night). That's going to give them the experience they need.
"Southern Miss was very organized and came in with a good plan. They did good for the most part. I'm proud of our team of being resilient and plugging away for the 105 minutes that we played. I thought in the end that we edged it."
With the win, the Bulldogs improved their record to 7-0. They open SEC play at South Carolina Friday.
"It feels good being undefeated going into conference play," Simmons said. "We need to keep it up."
Simmons was able to score on a pass across goal shot in at back post. The assist came from Dana Forbes and Morganne Grimes.
"I saw the ball go through," Simmons said. "I just tried to get in the box and hoped it would come to me."
The score came on MSU's 23rd shot on goal for the match. Southern Miss had 11 shots on goal with Bulldog goal keeper Skylar Rossom getting four saves.
Simmons said the Bulldogs have achieved success so far this season by playing together and working hard.
As league play begins, she knows there are some things to improve on.
"We need to sharpen up playing quick like we had to do (Sunday night) because that's how it's going to be in the SEC," Simmons said.
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