Alabama Soccer Defeats Lamar After Two-Goal Second Half
After a loss to No.1 Florida State last weekend, Alabama moves its record into the win column (2-1) after defeating Lamar 3-1. Definite control from the midfield due to its 3-5-2 lineup and pressure on Lamar's defense helped the Crimson Tide gain its win.
"We tried not to read too much into [the Florida State game]," head coach Wes Hart said. "It was a good experience for us and a fun opportunity... it was great to see that no one had their confidence rattled or anything from that game. They all came out and they were confident today."
In similar fashion to last week’s home game against Jacksonville State, the Crimson Tide came out strong with midfielder Reyna Reyes getting a shot on goal just one minute into the game. Shortly after Reyes’ shot, Alabama had a chance to put the ball in the back of the net but nothing came from those corners. The team continued to put pressure on Lamar’s goalkeeper Nicole Panis.
The midfield line was the controlling line in the first half emphasizing the pressure in the box.
"I think for us it's about trying to make it a game of territory," Hart said on keeping the pressure. "Whether we're in possession of whether we are defending, we want to play in their half and out midfield did a good job of that."
Throughout the whole game Alabama held the majority of the possession. In total, the Crimson Tide held 59% possession to Lamar's 41%.
Junior Macy Clem and sophomore Felicia Knox fired back-to-back shots creating opportunities for their team. After Lamar maintained a brief period of possession Alabama was able to control the field again. Knox fired two shots on Panis toward the beginning of the regained possession, one of those on goal, before being subbed out for Leah Kunde.
Reyes continued to push up in the box and drive her forwards closer to goal. She placed the ball in the bottom center but was not able to put it past Panis. Reyes’ fellow midfielders Kat Rogers and Kunde both fired shots hoping to meet the back of the net but instead saw the right top-post.
Approaching the 25-minute mark of the game, Lamar’s Isela Ramirez covered the length of the field on a breakaway. Crone came out of the goal to meet her but Ramirez was able to put the ball past her to take a 1-0 lead. Nine minutes later, substitute Kate Henderson crossed the width of the field from left to right and tied the game up after placing a shot on goal.
The second-half was where Alabama shined. Less than 20 minutes into the second-half the Crimson Tide scored. Aislin Streicek sent the ball across the net from the left side where it met Henderson’s head and then the net. Henderson’s second goal of the night, and of the season, put her team up 2-1.
"It was the best feeling ever [scoring twice in a game]. I've been working on those kinds of goals for the longest time," Henderson said. "I'm so happy!"
The trend of the midfielders being the core of the team continued as junior Allie Berk added to Alabama’s lead 10 minutes after Henderson.
The Crimson Tide would go on to play solid defense for the rest of the game keeping the Cardinals to only one goal.
"Being in this environment with these girls is just absolutely amazing," Henderson said about her teammates. "You won't find a bigger family than it anywhere else."
Next up: Alabama will face Southern Miss at home on Sunday, August 30 at 1 p.m. CT.