Hannah Saad | @hannah_saad21
A great first half, let down by another last minute collapse.
A tale of two halves did not favor Alabama Sunday afternoon as it collected a 2-1 loss to Florida, its 21st loss to the Gators in 25 meetings between the two programs.
Alabama controlled the first half, collecting more shots on goal and corner kicks, and captured its lone goal of the game in the fifth minute off the foot of sophomore Sudeny Vincens, her first career goal. Vincens’ goal marked the third straight game in which Alabama has scored during the first half, and second in which it has scored during the first five minutes. The three corner kicks that Alabama drew in the first half were an improvement from its game last week against Mississippi State, when the offense drew no corner kicks in the first half of that game.
But Alabama’s 1-0 advantage in the second half was not enough to secure the win. Florida dominated the second half, outshooting Alabama by 10 and drawing one more corner kick. Florida’s first shot of the half came in the third minute, and the Gator offense continued to apply offensive pressure from that moment forward. Florida’s goals followed in minutes 62 and 88 of the game.
All of the goals given up by Alabama this season have come late in the second half. Late goals by opponents prove to be the team’s weakness thus far: the two late goals in this week’s match, the last second goal given up to Mississippi State last week and a late second half goal in its opening match against Tennessee.
Despite allowing the two goals in the second half, Alabama goalie junior Emily Crone made a valiant effort, putting up 10 saves on the day.
An emerging pattern for Alabama over the games played so far is the team’s inability to apply offensive pressure after scoring a goal. Tennessee, Mississippi State and Florida have all put a competitive shot on goal in the minutes following an Alabama goal. Luckily for Alabama, none of these quick responding shots on goal made it to the back of the net. This is an area that the Crimson Tide must improve in if it wants to be successful and carry momentum going forward.
Another trend for Alabama has been foul trouble. Alabama has racked up fouls in the double-digits in each of the three games played this season, with 14 fouls in the Sunday afternoon match. Sophomore Sasha Pickard and Vincens each collected a yellow card in the match, which marks a total of five total cards drawn by Alabama this season. Pickard made the start in place of freshman Tanna Sanchez-Carreto on defense, who missed the game due to receiving a red card in last week’s match.
Junior Riley Mattingly did not make the trip to Gainesville this weekend for unknown reasons, but her presence will be pivotal to the future success of the team. If Mattingly misses next week’s match, the offense must learn how to play consistently without her.
Alabama will return to Tuscaloosa for its next match on Sunday, Oct. 11, against No. 9 Arkansas and will be televised on ESPNU.