Southern Miss opened their season with a thrilling double overtime victory against Arkansas State Friday night in Ellisville, Miss.
Double overtime games are nothing new for USM, as they had five last season, but only one resulted in a win.
Southern Miss came out hot offensively with six shots on goal all from different strikers, but was unable to put the ball in the back of the net.
With only ten minutes remaining in the first half, a foul was called on USM, giving the Red Wolves a free kick from midfield.
That kick bounced around in the goalie box before Arkansas State forward Katey Carmichael kicked it in for her first goal of the season, giving her team a 1-0 lead.
USM’s Stephanie Garcia set up a corner kick within the final seconds of the first half. Hannah Abrams followed with a header on goal, but it was blocked and the teams headed in for halftime.
In the second half, the Golden Eagles had many solid opportunities to score, but could not get the ball past the tough Red Wolves keeper, Amanda Lee.
At the 62 minute mark, Southern Miss found their groove on offense as Mary Kate Smith weaved in and out of a few players before passing the ball to Rikke Randrup who found the back of the net for her first goal of the season, tying the game 1-1.
Both teams were firing shots on goal during the final 15 minutes of play, giving the keepers all they could handle.
90 minutes was not enough as the game headed into ten minutes of sudden death overtime.
Within those ten minutes, USM had three shots on goal and its defense held their ground, not allowing any Red Wolves to attempt a shot.
The game then headed into a second and final overtime period. If neither team was to score the game would end in a tie.
The Golden Eagles did not have to worry about a tie. Six minutes into double overtime, junior Somer Jones perfectly placed a shot from 20 yards out just high enough that Lee could not reach it.
Jones’s clutch shot lifted USM to a 2-1 double overtime victory and a perfect start to the season.
Both keepers played strong as Lee had eight saves and USM’s Brittany Taylor had five.
On Sunday afternoon, the Golden Eagles traveled to Jackson, Mississippi, taking on Jackson State.
Both teams battled it out into double overtime, but the game ended in a tie.
This was the sixth time these two teams have met with USM keeping the lead in the series, 5-0-1.
Freshman Kierstin Bradley was able to get USM on the board first when she slid the ball past JSU’s goalie, Faith Toennies in the first half.
It was not long before the JSU’s Kamri Brown scratched a goal for the Tigers and tied the game 1-1.
After halftime, Southern Miss came out firing shots on goal and testing the Tigers’ defense.
Both teams stood their ground defensively as the game went into double overtime, ultimately ending in a draw.
USM had many chances to score; ending the game with 11 shots on goal, compared to just four for the Tigers.
The Golden Eagles (1-0-1) will play Louisiana-Lafayette Friday at 4 p.m. in Thibodaux, Louisiana.