The Crimson White

Alabama soccer ties with Florida on senior night

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CW/ Hannah Saad

CW/ Hannah Saad

CW/ Hannah Saad

Johnathan Anderson, Staff Writer

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Despite a multitude of chances and an energetic end-to-end 110 minutes of action, Alabama was forced to settle for a 0-0 draw on senior night against Florida at the Alabama Soccer Complex on Sunday evening.

In a match pitting two heavily offensive sides against each another, the first 90 minutes was a massive test defensively, with both teams flying end to end, charging at the opposition’s back line. Alabama’s Riley Mattingly saw her shot from distance rattle the crossbar in the 26th minute.

For the Crimson Tide through the first 45 minutes, Taylor Morgan and Christina Maartensson controlled the midfield and Alabama was able to build up effectively. However, as the game wore on and the energy drained and the legs began to wane, Head Coach Wes Hart’s team was forced to opt for a more direct approach throughout the latter stages of the second half and overtime.

“Early in the game, in the first half,” Hart said, “We had some very good spells of possession, but I think in the second half, tired legs combined with the fact that they are so good at possessing the ball, we kind of panicked a bit and started launching long balls. It’s not easy possessing the ball against them.”

After a scoreless end to regulation, the teams endured a sudden death overtime period. Neither team relented in its pressure and as the game ticked closer and closer to the final whistle, the shots and tackles began to pick up.

Seven players played the entire 110 minutes of tonight’s match, including the entire Alabama back line as well as Abbie Boswell and Taylor Morgan. Morgan, asked to play amidst the entirety of central midfield, certainly appeared to be feeling the effects as the overtime period stretched on.

“Taylor Morgan and the effort from the entire team defensively was fantastic,” Hart said. “Alex Plavin made saves when we needed her to make saves and we had a number of players blocking shots.”

Four yellow cards were shown throughout the contest, all toward the Gators. Melanie Monteagudo was the recipient of two, and was shown the red card in the 108th minute, forcing the Gators to finish the match down a player.

Alabama poured on the pressure over those final waning moments, constructing some of its best chances in the game’s final minutes.

“Certainly not the result we wanted,” Hart said. “We came into the game wanting three points and needing three points so we’re disappointed with the result, but extremely proud of the group’s effort. We created some good looks but with a bit more quality we easily could have walked away with the victory.”

Though eight shots were fired throughout both overtime periods, neither team was able to secure the golden goal that would see their side through. The Gators outshot the Crimson Tide 15-13 on the night, while Alabama recorded an 8-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Alabama will retake the field for its final home match of the season on Thursday, Oct. 18 when it hosts the Aggies of Texas A&M. The Aggies enter the match 14-1-1 on the year, 5-1-1 in SEC, and riding the back of a five-game unbeaten run.

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Alabama soccer ties with Florida on senior night