Bulldogs pick up sixth soccer victory

Staff Writer

It didn’t take Mississippi State sophomore soccer player MaKayla Waldner long to get motivated to play the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks on Friday.

Waldner is from Dexter, Missouri, which is 40 minutes away from the SEMO campus.

When Thursday night’s trip to South Florida was canceled due to the approaching Hurricane Irma, the Bulldogs needed a match and the Redhawks were able to oblige on short notice.

Waldner scored one of the three goals for State in a 3-1 victory at the MSU Soccer Field,

“The (SEMO) coach (Heather Nelson) used to be my club coach when I was little, so it was nice to come out here and score against them,” Waldner said.

After Brooke McKee scored her third goal of the season for the Bulldogs off an assist by Mallory Eubanks at the 11:18 mark of the match, Waldner followed with her third goal 21:03 into the action. Gabriella Coleman and McKee were credited with a double assist.

Waldner had 18 shots this season to lead the Bulldogs and has been aggressive to find the goal.

“In practice, we do a ton of shooting,” Waldner said. “I’m just trying to put myself in that position and make the coaches happy.”

MSU soccer coach Tom Anagnost likes the progress of Waldner and said it fits right in to where the rest of the team is headed.

“I think like everyone on our team, she is doing well,” Anagnost said. “She’s improving and we see a high potential in her. Just like all the girls on our team, we’re pushing them to be better than their last day.”

In the second half, the Bulldogs came up with their final score on an unassisted goal by Payton Gruenewald. It was her first of the season.

MSU could not close out the shutout as SEMO’s Maddy Cornell found the back of the net.

Even though happy with the win and being 6-0 at this point of the season, Anagnost had some concerns about some of the individual play on the squad.

“I was dissatisfied from several individual performances and several defensive performances, but all in all, a win is a win,” Anagnost said. “You learn, regroup, regenerate our bodies and get ready for a very difficult game on Sunday.”

MSU is back at home with a 1 p.m. match against South Alabama on Sunday.