The Crimson White

Soccer falls to Ole Miss

by+Hannah+Saad
by Hannah Saad

by Hannah Saad

by Hannah Saad

Johnathan Anderson, Staff Writer

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Despite a tireless offensive exertion from the Crimson Tide throughout the second half, Alabama could not find an equalizer and drops its first SEC match of the 2018 campaign with a 1-0 result against Ole Miss.

The Rebels made it incredibly difficult for Crimson Tide to find any momentum going forward. The constant pressure disrupted Alabama’s passing lanes and halted Alabama’s ability to build the ball from the back. Pinned back in its own half by the Rebels’ pacey wingers, coach Wes Hart’s side found it increasingly difficult to find ways out, forced to rely on long erratic outlet balls from the back with the hope to spring on a counter attack.

“First half I was most disappointed with our mentality,” Hart said. “I thought we just played too safe. We didn’t want to get behind them, we didn’t want to take players on, we didn’t want to commit numbers forward.”

The Rebels found their goal right on the brink of halftime. With the Crimson Tide desperate to survive until the break with the game still level, the Rebels won a corner with just a minute remaining. Madison Smith played the ball in to the far post where Grace Johnson redirected the ball back across the face of goal. Molly Martin popped up to head the ball home and the net the lone goal of the contest in favor of Ole Miss.

“At halftime, we talked about our mentality,” Hart said. “Let’s go down fighting. Let’s go down attacking. If we fail, at least we failed trying. We did just that.”

The cautious Alabama team of the first half came out with nothing to lose in the second. Hart threw numbers forward, determined to find the goal that would get his team back into the match. The Crimson Tide forced Ole Miss back, keeping the wingers that had terrified the Alabama defense early on at bay and began to assert themselves offensively.

Ole Miss created a number of opportunities of its own throughout the second half on the counter, with sophomore goalkeeper Alex Plavin providing a number of massive saves to keep her side in the contest.

A number of opportunities came in the match’s waning moments. Kat Rogers latched onto a loose ball in the box with her initial shot being saved right into the path of Abbie Boswell. Boswell’s follow-up headed attempt was saved off the line by an Ole Miss defender to soil Alabama’s best opportunity of the game.

A lack of finishing quality proved to be the Crimson Tide’s undoing. Alabama outshot the Rebels 17-9 on the night, but only managed to put three of its attempts on frame, while the Rebels placed five of their shots on target.

With the result, Alabama drops to 5-3-1 on the year, 0-1 in SEC play. The Crimson Tide will wrap up its non-conference schedule this Sunday on the road against Depaul and will resume SEC play at Vanderbilt on Sept. 20.

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Soccer falls to Ole Miss