CW / Hannah Saad
One second. A Mississippi State goal with one second left in the game was the difference between Alabama women’s soccer opening up its conference only season with a 2-0 record, which would have been the first time since the 2010 season, and the 1-1 tie that unveiled.
Friday night’s tie marks the seventh-straight season Alabama has yet to win a game in Starkville and the fifth-straight year the visiting team in this contest has not headed home with a win under its belt.
Mississippi State’s goal was caused by the added pressure it put on the Alabama defense by pushing women forward in the final 10 minutes of the game. The Alabama defense found itself out of system as it was outnumbered in its back field, which made it hard to clear the ball and allowed Mississippi State to convert its lone goal.
In the overtime period, both teams put shots on goal and each received a free kick outside the box but were unable to score.
Freshman Felicia Knox silenced the cowbells in the fifth minute of the game scoring the a goal to give Alabama the early lead – her first of the season. Despite the quick goal from Knox, the Alabama offense had a slow first half not drawing a single corner kick, compared to Mississippi State’s four. Alabama finished the game with four corner kicks but was still outdone by Mississippi State’s seven.
Even though Alabama outshot Mississippi State 12-11, it will still be considered a quiet night for the offense. The silence and low production of the Alabama offense can be attributed to the inability to feed the ball to junior Riley Mattingly and senior Casey Wertz as they are the main offensive contributors for the Crimson Tide.
Mississippi State’s best scoring opportunity, before its goal in the final second of the game, came with 14 minutes left. The ball bounced off the crossbar and the Alabama defense then advanced the ball forward.
A common theme Friday night was the distribution of penalty cards and fouls. Each team was in the double digits with fouls: Alabama collected 15 and Mississippi State had 11. There were four total penalties: three by Alabama and one by Mississippi State. Knock received a yellow card in the first half while freshman Tana Sanchez-Carreto received both a yellow and red card, which ejected her from the game. Due to the red card, Sanchez-Carreto is unable to play in Alabama’s next match against Florida.
With Sanchez-Carreto’s ejection only 10 Alabama players had the ability to play the rest of the match, leaving the team one person short. The question for the next match is who will fill the shoes of Sanchez-Carreto as she played the majority of the game.
Luckily for Alabama, 10 women on the field did not come back to harm it in overtime, as they still managed to score one point in the tie.
Alabama is on the road once more next Sunday, Oct. 4, and will face off against the Florida Gators. Game time is set for 4 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.