By (Matthew Speakman)

It took a little longer than he would’ve liked, but on Sunday, Alabama coach Wes Hart pick up his first win over a ranked opponent when Alabama defeated No. 14 Texas A&M 2-1 in its third straight overtime game. It was the soccer program’s first win over ranked opposition since the 2014 season, when the Crimson Tide beat Georgia 2-0.

“We just knew that this was an SEC opponent and a good opponent,” said Hart. “It was at home and we wanted to win. We don’t put a great deal of stock into the actual ranking.”

Much of the first half was met with back-and-forth action, with both teams getting chances on goal but not being able to convert. Then, Texas A&M broke through when junior Haley Pounds converted on a penalty kick to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead. Just six minutes later, Alabama responded with a penalty kick of its own, with junior Hailey Brohaugh scoring her first goal of the season from the spot.

The second half was mostly a possession battle, with both teams trying to score before the clock ran out. Neither team could convert, sending the game into overtime.

Six minutes into overtime, sophomore Emma Welch slipped a through ball in between two defenders to find sophomore Abbie Boswell who then fired it past the goalkeeper to give Alabama its second conference win of the season.

“If we come out and give 110 percent and give it all we got then we can go really far, and do great things together,” Boswell said.

After a tie with Kentucky and a close loss to Arkansas, Alabama improved its second SEC record to 2-1-1, with the other win coming against Tennessee. Many of Alabama’s recent games have been decided by less than a goal, and Hart said it was finally nice to see his team get rewarded with a win.

“It is different than me telling them, ‘hey great effort, I’m proud of you’ as opposed to actually winning the game,” he said. “That is real.”

Sophomore Abbie Boswell, a transfer from Ball State, has stepped up time and time again for the Crimson Tide. Boswell has scored seven goals and has added six assists to her stat sheet, while also leading the team in points with 18 overall.

Hart said Boswell has filled a crucial role that the team did not have last season.

“Abbie has a knack for scoring goals,” Hart said. “As a freshman at Ball State, she put 10 in the back of the net, and we knew when we got her, that was one element we were missing. Last season, I thought we were a more talented team than maybe our record showed last year, but we didn’t have anyone who could put the ball in the back of the net.”

The Crimson Tide led the shot count for the game 16-13, and did not allow Texas A&M to register a single shot in the overtime period. Junior goalkeeper Kat Stratton came up with eight saves for Alabama.

Next, Alabama will hit the road to take on Mississippi State in Starkville, Mississippi on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. CT.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports