After a chilly and windy night in Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl of soccer, the Alabama Crimson Tide fell to the Auburn Tigers in double overtime 2-1.
Going into halftime down 1-0, The Crimson Tide rallied back in the second half to even the score, but the Tigers regained the lead in the second overtime to get their 11th win of the season and defeat the Crimson Tide for the fourth-straight win in the all-time series.
“Rivalry or not, that would be the effort, energy, and competitive spirit that I would want our girls to bring every game,” coach Wes Hart said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kat Stratton made her second start and fourth appearance of the season, replacing senior Emily Rusk. At the five-minute mark, Stratton gave up her first goal of the game to Auburn’s defender Kala Faulkner off a recovered deflection from a corner kick, Faulkner’s second of the season.
“We lost a couple games in a row, and that by no means was I placing the blame on Rusk, but I felt maybe we should mix things up and give Kat the opportunity,” Hart said.
After giving up an early goal, the Crimson Tide tried to get on momentum on the offensive end, but was unable to find possession on the Tigers’ side of the field. The Crimson Tide finished the half with two shot attempts and zero on goal by defender Molly Moroney and forward Alexis Mouton.
Auburn had opportunities to extend the lead in the first half with good looks at the goal, but the Alabama’s defense kept the team alive to send it into halftime only down 1-0. The Tigers finished the half with seven shots and three on goal.
The Crimson Tide came into the second half attacking the goal early. At the 49 minute mark, midfielder Celia Jimenez had the first shot on goal for Alabama, saved by goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau. Alabama followed that shot up seconds later with a goal by Auburn Mercer that was high. Mercer continued to attack the goal and had another opportunity five minutes later with a close goal saved by Beau.
At the 64-minute mark, freshman forward Tori Gann scored the first goal in the game for the Crimson Tide off a deflection from Jimenez. Gann’s first goal of her career. Alabama outshot Auburn in the second half 12-4, and sent the game to overtime.
“That was a fantastic goal,” Hart said. “She’s provided energy and spark off the bench. So for her to actually capitalize on this time, get us a goal, and get us back in the game was good for her and good for us.”
Neither team scored in the first overtime. In the second overtime period, the Tigers gained the victory after a game-winning header by forward Taylor Troutman assisted by Hannah Alspach.
The Crimson Tide finished the game with 15 shots and six on goal. Mercer and Jimenez combined for seven shots with three on goal. Stratton finished with five saves and two goals allowed. The team falls to 4-7-2 (1-4 in the SEC), dropping their third straight game and second loss at home this season.
“We’ve got another tough game,” Hart said. “Hopefully this game will give a little confidence knowing that we can play with some of the best. But more than anything we need rest, I think taking a couple days off to rest our legs, bodies, and probably more importantly our minds. Take our minds off the game so we can come back Monday or Tuesday ready to go.”
The Crimson Tide will head to College Station next Friday for its match up against Texas A&M. Opening kick begins at 7 p.m.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports