Mouton sisters providing leadership for the Crimson Tide

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Mouton sisters providing leadership for the Crimson Tide

Scarlet VanMeter

Scarlet VanMeter

Scarlet VanMeter

Ben Stansell

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When Alexis and Kayla Mouton take the field to square off against LSU at home on Thursday, their parents will be cheering enthusiastically against the college that they both attended and competed for. A two-sport athlete, Lyle Mouton, played baseball and basketball for the Tigers, while wife Aimee was a gymnast. On Thursday, however, Lyle and Aimee’s loyalties will lie with their daughters and the Crimson Tide.

With parents as athletically gifted as theirs, it is not shocking that Alexis, now a senior, and Kayla, a junior, have always exceeded at sports. Before beginning their collegiate careers at Alabama, the sisters followed in their father’s footsteps, finding success in multiple sports while attending Palm Harbor University High School outside of Tampa, Florida.

The sisters, separated by only a little over a year in age, played school and club soccer together throughout high school. At the prompting of her soccer coach, Alexis also started running track to maintain proper soccer conditioning. The move paid off, as Alexis was awarded track sprinter MVP honors for her performance. Kayla was corralled into running track after Alexis started, earning a bid in the state finals of the 4×100 meter relay team.

Although their bond has always been sturdy, Alexis and Kayla believe that countless club soccer trips taken together during high school helped strengthen it even further. At one travel tournament in Arkansas, right before Kayla first reported to Alabama, her head was fractured when an opposing player’s head collided with it as both players attempted a header. Since the Mouton parents did not make the trip, Alexis stepped up to the plate and filled in as a parental figure for Kayla.

“She had major surgery and was in the hospital and our parents weren’t there,” said Alexis. “I had to go sleep at the hospital with her and I was the one having to talk to doctors and call my parents to tell them that Kayla was going to have to have head surgery.”

The connection shared by the sisters, forged throughout their adolescence by long soccer practices and shared track experiences, played an important role in both sisters suiting up for the Crimson Tide today. Alexis landed at Alabama after a family member who worked with the baseball team put her in touch with the former soccer coaching staff. Alexis’ recruitment to Alabama resulted in her falling in love with the school and deciding to make it her home. Kayla, desiring a college environment where she would feel comfortable, decided to join her sister.

“I’m big into not being out of my comfort zone, so every school I did look at I was wondering if I knew someone who went there or lived around there,” Kayla said. “So Lexi going here was a big factor because it was always comfortable at all times.”

Since arriving in Tuscaloosa, the Mouton sisters have made meaningful impacts on the field. Alexis had a breakout season during her sophomore year, finishing among team leaders in goals and points. Due to sickness, Alexis has been unable to play much this season, getting her first game action in Alabama’s win over Chattanooga last Sunday.

An anchor for a stout Alabama defense, Kayla has played a team-high 884 minutes at center back this season and is already responsible for two game-winning goals. 

Having played together for such a long period of time, the sisters share a familiarity on the field that allows them to be honest and vocal with each other, which both of them see as a breath of fresh air.

“I think we hold each other to high standards. And she’s one of the people I can yell at and it doesn’t matter,” said Alexis. “it’s different because with normal teammates you have to worry about if they are going to be mad or upset, but I can just yell at her to do something and it doesn’t matter. We’re never super mean to each other though.”

“I think it’s more of being able to always get the truth from her,” said Kayla. “If I’m having a bad day, she’s not going to tell me I did great. She’s going to tell me how to be better. You’re always getting the truth, even though sometimes you don’t want to hear it.”

Being roommates, the sisters understand that whatever frustrations they may have with each other are put aside once they leave the field. Similar to the way they would ride home from soccer practices in high school, Alexis and Kayla ride home from practices together now, each one knowing she’s got her sister’s support and company at the end of the day.