By (James Ogletree)

The Alabama women’s soccer team lost its first conference game of the season 1-0 to No. 3 South Carolina on Friday night in Columbia. The Crimson Tide dropped to 7-2 for the season while the Gamecocks improved to 7-1.

After a scoreless first half, the game’s only goal was scored in the 76th minute off a penalty kick by South Carolina’s Lindsey Lane. Alabama senior goalkeeper Kat Stratton played tight defense throughout the game, accruing two saves and preventing any of South Carolina’s nine shots or corner kicks from finding the net.

“Obviously I am disappointed with the result,” head coach Wes Hart said. “But I could not be more proud of the effort our team showed. To play the way we did against the No. 3 team in the country on the road shows that we are close! While they may have had more possessions, we hit the crossbar three times and did not allow them many chances.”

Alabama nearly took an early lead, with freshman Casey Wertz taking two shots on goal during the tenth minute, but both were saved by the South Carolina goalkeeper.

The rest of the first half unfolded similarly, with each team squandering opportunities to gain the upper hand. The Gamecocks failed to capitalize on three corner kicks and the Crimson Tide had another shot on goal sail above the crossbar.

Alabama’s best chance came early in the second half, when senior Chatham DeProspo took a shot on goal following a South Carolina foul, but the ball again bounded off the crossbar and the game remained scoreless.

The roles were reversed on the decisive goal in the 76th minute; this time South Carolina drew an Alabama foul, but Lane was able to capitalize on the penalty kick to give the Gamecocks the lead.

The Crimson Tide staged one last attempt with three minutes remaining, but could convert neither a free kick nor a corner kick, giving South Carolina the narrow margin of victory.

Alabama returns home for its final non-conference game against Chattanooga on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 5:00 p.m. CT at the Alabama Soccer Complex.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports