Alabama soccer drops its first home game

Marquis Munson

After two straight victories at home, the Alabama Crimson Tide soccer team dropped its first home game of the season against the Kentucky Wildcats 1-0.

In front of a large crowd of over 900 in Alabama Soccer Complex, coach Wes Hart and the Crimson Tide played their second game in the SEC but couldn’t find a good look on offense against a tough Kentucky Wildcats defense, and dropped their fourth game of the season.

“I’m grateful at the home fans for coming out, just wish we would have gave them a better performance,” Hart said.

Kentucky gained an early momentum in the first half. The Wildcats missed three shots in the early minutes until midfielder Katy Keen scored the first goal of the game at the 10 minute mark off an assist from Kaitlin Miller. The goal was Keen’s second of the season. The Wildcats finished the half with seven shot attempts with Keen, Courtney Raetzman and Zoe Swift each with two.

The Crimson Tide tried to regain momentum, but couldn’t find an answer to the Wildcats’ goal. The team took four shots, with zero on goal, to send them into halftime. Midfielder Hailey Brohaugh had two shot attempts, followed by Emma Welch and Chatham DeProspo with one each.

“We told our team as poorly as we played in the first half, there is still 45 minutes of soccer left,” Hart said. “The game was very much in reach and we kind of changed tactics just a little bit. We thought we aren’t playing well so maybe we should be more direct.”

In the second half, the Crimson Tide increased the pressure on both sides of the ball with midfielder Celia Jimenez Delgado leading the way. Jimenez Delgado took the only shot on goal for the Crimson Tide at the 60-minute mark, but it was saved by goalkeeper Katelyn Jensen. The Wildcats would respond with a shot on goal of their own, taken by forward Jade Klump that was saved by Emily Rusk, Rusk’s only save of the game.

The Crimson Tide had to play the last 17 minutes of the match one woman down, as forward Tori Gann was sent off after receiving a red card at the 73 minute mark. They couldn’t overcome the numbers gain, and dropped their first game in the SEC.

“Let this game sting, let this game be a lesson to us, but we got work to do and we need to show up with energy and life,” Hart said. “Can’t dwell on it too much we got a game Sunday to focus on.”

Last weekend, the Crimson Tide outshot their last two opponents 55-14 with a season-high three goals against the LSU Tigers, but couldn’t find its shot against the Wildcats defense, only taking five shots in the game.

The Crimson Tide will finish their four-game home stand this Sunday against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Opening kick will begin 7 p.m.