Sweet Home Alabama: Soccer wins in coach Wes Hart's home debut


Alabama defeated Troy, 1-0, on Sunday, Aug. 23.  CW | Shelby Akin

Marquis Munson

After a hard-fought 1-0 loss to the Memphis Tigers in their season opener, head coach Wes Hart and the Alabama soccer team answered back with 1-0 victory against the Troy Trojans in their first home game of the season with a game-winning goal by Alexis Mouton in the 76th minute Sunday night.

The Crimson Tide used the momentum from the large crowd at the Alabama Soccer Stadium to help them push past the Trojans and give Hart his first win in his Alabama coaching career.

“Hopefully we’ll build on it,” Hart said. “I think it was an awesome first crowd and hopefully we’ve entertained them enough that they’ll want to continue to keep coming out.”

Despite a scoreless first period, Alabama played with the same aggression on the offensive side of the field as the second period of the Memphis game on Friday night. They made 10 shots to the Trojans three, including three shots on goal by Hailey Brohaugh, Christina Martensson and Celia Jimenez Delgado, who had three shots to end the period.

Most of the Trojans’ aggression in the first period came from incidents that happened outside the box, receiving four fouls that led to two yellow cards given to defenders Haley Roberson and Marli Batiste.

“We tell our players to keep playing, and don’t worry about getting involved,” Hart said. “You’re going to get fouled; that’s a part of the game. You just have to keep your head.”

To begin the second half, the Trojans came out with more aggression on offense, doubling their shot attempts in the first 10 minutes of the second period. This included a good look for Trojans midfielder Jasmine Fahrnbauer that was blocked by Emily Rusk.

“The defense looked good,” Hart said. “We got caught a couple of times moving in transition, but that’s going to happen when you’re an attack-minded team. When we do have breakdown, we have individuals to step up and save the day.”

Focusing more on stopping the offensive plays by the Trojans, Alabama took three shots in the second period, including sophomore forward Alexis Mouton’s game winning goal, the second goal of her college career.

“It’s exciting, and it means this season is going to be filled with opportunities,” Mouton said. “I jumped like eight feet in the air. I was just proud of myself because I did miss one in the first half.”

Alabama finished the game with 13 shots, including four shots on goal. Rusk finished the shutout with two saves, while midfielder Celia Jimenez Delgado had three shots and one on goal.

The Crimson Tide will play at home this Friday in their next match against Wake Forest. Opening kick is slated to begin at 7 p.m.