For the third time in program history, the Alabama women’s soccer team will compete in the NCAA Soccer Tournament and is slated to face the Clemson Tigers at the Historic Riggs Field this weekend.

“I am totally excited for the players,” head coach Wes Hart said. “They have worked tremendously hard for this moment. Dating back to two years ago when I took this group over, with all the struggles and growing pains and ups and downs, for us to be able to celebrate this is pretty exciting.”

The Tide earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament after posting a 12-7-1 overall record and registering a 4-6-1 record in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama’s 12 wins are the most victories recorded by the Tide in a single season since 2002.

Alabama first appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 1998 and fell to Texas A&M, 3-1, on Nov. 11. The Tide’s second showing was in 2011, where the Tide dropped a double-overtime thriller, 3-2, to Miami (Fla.) on Nov. 12.

“We knew we had the talent, but there is so much more than talent that goes into play,” Hart continued. “Staying healthy, catching breaks and being able to grind throughout the season are some of those contributors. We started off the season hot, then went through a rough patch, but we were able to bounce back and end on a high note, which is pretty special.”

Alabama wrapped up its 2017 non-conference with an 8-1 record, the best non-conference performance by the Tide since 2002 when UA went 9-1.

On Aug. 27, the Crimson Tide commanded national attention by shutting out then-No. 6/4 Florida State, 1-0, at the Alabama Soccer Complex. The triumph marked the first time Alabama defeated a top-10 opponent in school history. After the victory, the Tide was ranked and received votes in several national polls for four consecutive weeks.

After falling to four straight conference foes to begin SEC play, Alabama bounced back and finished the season strong with a four-game winning streak over conference opponents to earn a spot in the SEC Tournament. The Tide’s streak was the longest run over conference opponents since 1998.

The date and time for the first round of competition will be announced soon.

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