The Crimson White

Alabama soccer earns fifth straight victory

Johnathan Anderson, Staff Writer

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Alabama knocked off Troy 5-0 at the Alabama soccer complex Sunday afternoon. Head coach Wes Hart’s team secured the victory through a surprising hat trick from a defender and a historic second half strike.

The Crimson Tide started the contest a bit shaky, due in large part to the intense heat taking a toll on the players’ focus and performances. Alabama suffered from a lack of precision in its passing early on and found it increasingly difficult to find in-rows through the final third.

The first half cooling break offered Alabama a chance to regroup and rehydrate, which seemed to pay dividends. Alabama soon found an opening through senior forward Abbie Boswell, who spun away from her defender and located Gigi Schorr with a pass, who spanked the ball home for Alabama’s opening score.

“I wasn’t exactly sure it was going to go in,” Schorr said, “but I was really excited, kind of shocked honestly.”

The goal was Schorr’s first of the season, but only the beginning of her offensive output. Schorr added a second just six minutes later with a curling effort from outside of the box and finished off her hat trick in the 75th minute to cap off the Crimson Tide’s scoring.

“I was most pleased with the start of the second half,” Hart said. “I thought we came out very sharp, with a killer instinct mentality. The score was 2-0 at halftime, we wanted to get that third goal, that goal breaks them. We put the pressure on them early, got the goal early and with that, [Troy’s] spirit kind of died.”

The bigger story of the match came just three minutes in to the start of the second half. Emma Welch played a delightful ball from the left that found Riley Mattingly whose follow-up ball drifted to Abbie Boswell with the finish. The rather chaotic goal gave Emma Welch the assist she had been searching for all season, making the senior midfielder from McDonough, Georgia the all-time career assists leader for the Crimson Tide. Welch tops the efforts of former Alabama standout Libby Probst, who led the Crimson Tide between 2002 and 2005.

“I had no idea until someone told me at the very beginning of the season and I said, ‘Well that’s great, you’ve put a bunch of pressure on it,’ but after a couple of games in and it didn’t happen I was kind of sad,” Welch said. “But at the same time, I knew it was an assist and that’s a team kind of thing. I was hoping that it would happen at home and it did so I was really excited about that. As long as we’re winning, that’s all I care about.”

The Crimson Tide outshot the Trojans 25-5, placing 10 of its shots on target. Abbie Boswell finished the match with two goals and two assists. Emma Welch was the supplier for both of Boswell’s goals and Riley Mattingly and Gabby Duca both added assists of their own to see the Crimson Tide walk away with the resounding result.

“We’re playing as a team,” Welch said. “You can see all over the scoresheet that it’s not one person, at all. We don’t have one huge scorer like we’ve had in the past. Gigi came off the bench and scored three goals today so it’s just the depth of our team and the way our team responds.”

With the win, Alabama secured its fifth straight victory, rising to 5-2-1 on the year. Over this stretch, Alabama has scored a whopping 22 goals while conceding only two. The Crimson Tide will hope to ride the momentum of these past few matches as it opens SEC play on September 13 against Ole Miss. The Rebels enter the match with an overall record of 6-2 and will be a massive test for this in-form Alabama side to contend with.

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Alabama soccer earns fifth straight victory