Soccer falls to BYU in season opener

Joey Blackwell, Staff Reporter

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The Alabama Crimson Tide soccer team lost its season opener Thursday night against the No. 22 BYU Cougars 1-0.

After a dominating preseason where the Crimson Tide outscored its opponents 7-0, the team was unable to score a goal in its first matchup of the season.

“[I’m] certainly disappointed with the result,” Alabama coach Wes Hart said. “But we showed some things tonight that excite me and make me believe that we’re going to be okay.”

The Cougars scored their first and only goal early in contest in the eighth minute. While Alabama consistently challenged BYU defensively throughout the game, it couldn’t capitalize.

When the Crimson Tide returned from the locker room after halftime, it came out with a new aggressive strategy. For the duration of the game, Alabama tallied a total of three yellow cards, acquired by junior Casey Wertz, senior Nealy Martin, and sophomore Abby Bivens.

One highlight for the Crimson Tide was that it started four freshmen in Macy Clem, Serena Pham, Carlee Giammona and Reyna Reyes. Martin, Clem and Reyes all played a full 90 minutes, with Giammona shooting two shots on goal.

“A lot of those freshmen didn’t play like freshmen,” Hart said. “They don’t look like freshmen, and they don’t play like freshmen. If they keep getting better like we think they are, we’re gonna be okay.”

Alabama totaled nine shots on the game, with three of them being on goal. The Crimson Tide also had a goal of 15 fouls. Junior goalkeeper Alex Plavin played all 90 minutes of the contest, totaling eight saves and allowing one goal.

BYU registered 15 shots for the game, with nine of them being on goal. Junior Mikayla Colohan scored
the only goal of the game, with senior Lizzy Braby making the assist. Sabrina Davis, the Cougars’ senior
goalkeeper, finished the day with three saves.

“That BYU team is going to win a heck of a lot of games,” Hart said. “I think if we play like we did tonight
— if we battle like we did tonight — we’re going to win our fair share of games as well.”

The Crimson Tide returns to the field Sunday at 1:00 p.m. CT to take on the Utah Utes. The Utes dropped
their season opener to Clemson 2-0 Thursday night.

“Whether we won or lost, we gotta put it behind us,” Hart said. “We gotta focus on Utah.”