Even with the pressure of SEC tournament implications weighing on her shoulders, junior Abbie Boswell was calm and collected as she sunk a penalty kick in the back of the net to secure Alabama a 3-2 victory over Missouri in the 53rd second of overtime on Sunday. With the tightly contested victory, Alabama’s third straight, the Crimson Tide improved to 11-6-1 overall and 3-5-1 in SEC play.
Alabama stormed out of the gate on a mission, scoring a goal within the first minute of action. After receiving a pass from senior Celia Jimenez Delgado in Missouri’s box, Abbie Boswell created space for herself and then launched a nearly indefensible arching shot past the Tiger’s goalkeeper to give Alabama a 1-0 lead early.
“I honestly didn’t even think it was going to go in,” Boswell said. “It was a falling shot and I couldn’t really see it go in because someone was blocking me and then I was like ‘oh I scored, cool.’ It was awesome because it was right off of the kickoff.”
Alabama’s initial offensive outburst set the tone for a high scoring first half in which all but the winning goal were scored.
Missouri knotted up the game at 1-1 with a score in the 28th minute of play, but would only hold on to the tie for 10 minutes before Alabama pulled ahead with another score.
The Crimson Tide’s second goal came off the foot of senior Alexis Mouton, who capitalized on a long pass from junior Christina Maartensson by sliding a shot past Missouri’s exposed goalkeeper to give Alabama a 2-1 advantage.
Although it appeared that Alabama was going to carry a one goal lead into halftime, Missouri found pay-dirt in the 45th minute to steal back momentum going into the break.
The second period was a possession battle dominated by both team’s defenses. Alabama senior goalie Kat Stratton fended off all of Missouri’s charges, recording four saves in the second half and seven overall, helping to send the game into overtime deadlocked at 2-2.
Alabama started the overtime period with an aggressive offensive approach, and it paid off for the Crimson Tide when junior Emma Welch was fouled by a Missouri defender in the Tiger’s box, resulting in a penalty kick. Boswell stepped up to the ball and delivered without hesitation, sealing Alabama’s 3-2 win.
“That’s just Abbie Boswell’s personality,” head coach Wes Hart said. “When the game is on the line she wants to step up and take it so I didn’t even have to tell her, she just got the ball and took it.”
Boswell’s game winning goal was her eighth on the season and her third in the past three games.
Alabama heads into an away matchup against Ole Miss on Thursday at 7 p.m. with a lot on the line. The Crimson Tide was ranked 10th in the SEC standings before its win against Missouri, which gained them three points and could improve their position depending on other results from around the league. Regardless, a victory against the Rebels will improve Alabama’s tournament chances.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports