Alabama Soccer Wins in Double-Overtime Against Golden Eagles
Alabama (3-1) faced Southern Mississippi (2-2) a little less than 36 hours after defeating Lamar 3-1 on Friday night. The Crimson Tide played well despite the quick turn around and picked up its third win of the season defeating Southern Mississippi 3-2 in double-overtime.
“Playing Friday night and turning right back around and playing Sunday afternoon is not easy,” head coach Wes Hart said. “It showed in the game today. But, [I’m] certainly excited that we grinded out the win and found a way to get the result.”
The Crimson Tide came out with pressure as always, but were faced with a challenge when Southern Mississippi also matched its intensity. Neither team seemed to possess the ball right away, it was back-and-forth.
Alabama’s advances up the right side were met with a solid Southern Mississippi defense. While on the other hand, Alabama’s defense was met with speed up top from the Golden Eagles. This speed seemed to be a challenge for Alabama in the first half. Despite the speed and pressure, the Crimson Tide defense was able to hold the Golden Eagles to just five shots. Only one was on-goal to goalkeeper McKinley Crone who received her second start in a row.
The Alabama offense was backed up by the defense and utilized them for passing the ball backward. About 29 minutes into the game the strategy of the back pass worked. The midfielders created pressure in the box to the extent that defender Bella Scaturro was able to be at the 18-yard box. Scaturro was able to place a shot on net that resulted in a goal for her team, her first of the season and of her career.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half a foul was called on Southern Mississippi in the box. This resulted in a penalty kick for Alabama. Forward Ashlynn Serepca went lower right side while the Golden Eagles’ goalkeeper, Kendall Mindnich dove left. The Crimson Tide held a solid 2-0 lead after the kick.
“At 2-0 I felt pretty good. I felt we were in control of the game,” Hart said.
But, the 2-0 lead wasn’t enough for Alabama. In a matter of time Southern Mississippi would tie the game.
A breakaway for the Golden Eagles down the left side closed the 2-0 gap to 2-1 and Southern Mississippi avoided a shutout. Less than two minutes later, Alabama’s defense was split down the middle and Ilana Izquierdo scored her second goal of the game to tie the match at two.
“We gave a bad ball away that led to a goal and gave them a little life. And then [there was] another defensive mistake on my part, [which led to a second goal]. Next thing you know we’re in a game,” Hart said.
Neither team could score before the end of regulation to close out the game and ended up playing into double-overtime. Alabama’s Felicia Knox scored with less than three minutes left in overtime to end the match and record a win for the Crimson Tide.
"From a positive standpoint you can certainly talk about not playing your best soccer and then finding a way to win games," Hart said on his takeaways from the game. "You have to be able to grind out wins."
NEXT UP: Alabama will face off against Samford at home on Thursday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. CT.