The struggle for Alabama women’s soccer continued Saturday against Ole Miss.
The team was shut out for the first time this season, losing 2-0 to the Rebels and falling to 1-3-1 for the season. This marks Alabama’s second-straight loss and fourth straight game without a win.
The Rebels scored early in each half – the first coming in the tenth minute of the game off a header and the second in the first minute of the second half off a deflected shot in the middle of the field.
What made Ole Miss’ offensive strategy successful was its ability to switch the field and travel to the Alabama box within a matter of seconds. This put the Alabama defense on its heels and led defenders to foul the Rebels offensive to slow down its attack.
Alabama collected 10 total fouls in the game. The team now leads the conference in fouls, bringing in a total 61 so far.
In these last four losses for Alabama, the offense has been unable to score more than a goal since its win over Tennessee in the season opener.
The lack of offensive consistency can be attributed to the unavailability of players in different games. Senior Riley Mattingly, sophomore Reyna Reyes and junior Taylor Morgan have all missed games for various reasons.
Alabama had its chances to equalize the game at one in the first half as it drew five corner kicks. But the Alabama offense was unable to put a shot on goal in these five opportunities. Aside from the corner kicks, Alabama’s offense crossed the ball from the left side to the middle in hopes of finding a connection but was unable to do so.
The Alabama offense came out with a new plan in the second half, which was to put as many players in the box and add pressure on the Ole Miss goalie.
Despite the team’s inability to score a goal, Alabama’s second-half offensive attack proved to be more successful as the team drew fouls outside the Ole Miss box and was able to put three shots on goal. Alabama was also able to draw two more corner kicks than Ole Miss in the second half.
The Crimson Tide offense may look to build off of this offensive scheme heading into next week’s game. But in order to be successful in future matches, the offensive connection between senior Casey Wertz and Mattingly must be rekindled.
Alabama will play against Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on Friday, Oct. 23. This game, which can be streamed on the ESPN app, has the potential to decide who heads into the SEC tournament in last place, as both teams already sit at the bottom of the conference.