By Martha Glen Sease
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The phrase “Friday the 13 th ” may be nothing more than a phrase for some,
but for the Alabama Women’s Soccer team and fans, Friday the 13 th of November 2020 is the
day the Tide’s season ended.
Alabama was seeded eleventh in the SEC Tournament, and faced a winless no. 14 LSU in the
first match of the tournament in Orange Beach, AL. Coming in with a record of 2-4-2, the Tide
faced the same road LSU still faces: five perfect games in order to take the SEC Championship
title. This tournament is win-or-go-home, so the Crimson Tide left Orange Beach as quickly as it
The Tide rolled in with a trophy in hand from the Iron Bowl win against in-state rival, Auburn
University, on Friday, Nov. 6. Fans and SEC broadcasters alike were looking to see if the Tide
could jump off from this win and start a hot streak to ride through the tournament.
The Crimson Tide played in a 4-3-3 formation. This was the first time all season that the Tide
had the same starting XI lineup two games in a row.
The LSU Tigers looked to do the same thing the Auburn Tigers worked to do against the
Crimson Tide a week prior in overloading the midfield. The Tigers played in a 3-4-2-1 with two
forwards slotted under Taylor Dobles, LSU forward, to lead the attack.
Both teams started the game utilizing a high-press strategy. Unusual to most of the regular
season, Alabama did not hold majority possession in the first 10 minutes of the game. LSU held
55% of possession in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Early in the game, Dobles opened the scoring and put LSU on the board. In the 13 th minutes,
LSU’s Tinaya Alexander brought the ball down the left flank and got a shot off. Crone, the
Crimson Tide’s goalkeeper, was able to deflect the shot. There were multiple white jerseys with
crimson lettering in the box, but Dobles was able to find a pocket of space to get a shot off. The
ball beat Crone on the bounce, and LSU went up, 1-0. This was Dobles’ second goal of the
At halftime, both coaches reported they were happy with their team performance through the
first half. Both teams came into the second half aggressively: the Tide searching for an equalizer
and the Tigers searching for the go-ahead goal.
The game remained stretched through both halves, with all players moving box-to-box to chase
the ball down.
Ultimately, Dobles found the go-ahead goal in the 88 th minute of the game from a tricky angle
left of goal.
- The score line might lead one to believe LSU outshot the Tide, but that’s not the case.
The Crimson Tide got 21 shots off on the night, with 10 on target. LSU got off 16 shots
with seven on target.
- Mckinley Crone, the Tide’s goalkeeper, and Mollee Swift, the Tigers’ goalkeeper, both
had standout performances. Swift made 10 saves for the Tigers and Crone made five
saves for the Tide.
- A far cry from the last meeting between the two teams – when a combined 40 fouls
were committed – there were a combined 16 fouls committed. Alabama committed six
and LSU committed 10.
- Head referee, Andrew Musashe, booked three Crimson Tide players and three Tigers
with yellow cards throughout the game. However, no one was sent off on a red card.
- Riley Mattingly and Reyna Reyes led the Tide in shots, with each having four apiece.
Mattingly had all four shots on target, and Reyes had two on target.
- Verpaele and Duca followed with three shots apiece, each with one on target.
- Wertz, Wyatt and Knox all had two shots. One of Knox’s shots was on target.
- Skorka followed with one shot and one shot on target.
LSU faces No. 6 Ole Miss on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2:30 p.m. CST. All games throughout the
tournament will be broadcast on SEC Network.
The Crimson Tide will return to Tuscaloosa to prepare for the next season. This marked head
coach Wes Hart’s sixth season with the Tide. Hart has a steady pipeline of talented recruits
coming into Tuscaloosa to continue building the program.
While this was not the ending the Tide was searching for, and while the season record of 2-4-2
and a first-round loss seems disappointing, the season is not a total loss for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama had some tough breaks this season – an unfortunate bounce of the ball here, a call
gone the other team’s way there – but the Tide proved to be a fierce opponent not intimidated
by the talent found in the SEC.