Anagnost hopes MSU builds upon the momentum of second exhibition

Mississippi State's Carley Mauldin listens to her coach Tom Anagnost answer a question on Tuesday.

Staff Writer

It’s the hope of Mississippi State soccer coach Tom Anagnost that the team can carry over the momentum shown in the second exhibition match into the regular season.

The Bulldogs lost a disappointing 1-0 decision to Wisconsin in the first exhibition and delivered a 2-0 victory over Marquette in the second.

The difference in the first and second exhibition match was pretty large in Anagnost’s mind.

“We didn’t have an identity the first game,” Anagnost said during the team’s media day on Tuesday. “Obviously there were technical things we didn’t do in both. We were just better in all phases in the second game.

“After the first match, we focused on a few things in between. For me, the most important thing moving forward is let’s do better at these things no matter what and we did. It was a clearly better match for most individuals on the team and collectively. I was pleased. We just have to build on that.”

MSU junior forward Makayla Waldner went as far as to say the Wisconsin game was “out of character” for the team. She was not happy with the flow or rhythm of what happened.

Moving forward, Waldner said the toughness of the Bulldogs has to show because that’s what they will face when the Southeastern Conference schedule begins.

“Any SEC team is real tough and gritty, but I think we take pride in being the toughest one in our conference,” Waldner said. “That just goes to show how hard we are going to work. No matter how young we are we are going to pick up the slack in other areas.”

There will be a youthful aspect with State as it welcomes the most freshmen of any SEC team this season, but returns its top three goal scorers and top two in points. Waldner led the Bulldogs with nine goals last season.

MSU won’t begin conference play until September 14 when it travels to Auburn. The Bulldogs host the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles on Thursday to begin the regular season.