TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The fifth ranked gamecocks strutted into Tuscaloosa with an impressive undefeated record of 5-0-3. They will head back home with a one in the loss column.
Lots of factors went into making this game the most anticipated game in program history for the tide: The tide’s rank of 11th in the country is the highest in program history. This is the first time that the tide have hosted a top 12 matchup in program history. And lastly, Alabama had a ten game home stand to protect.
Despite all of these factors, the lights were not too bright for the tide.
When asked about what they did this week to keep their composure for the game, forward Felicia Knox says that they kept practice “Business as usual.”
However, outside of practice, the team had a little bit of fun this week on the Quad. Knox liked to call it “a little bit of recruiting” as she held herself back from laughing. The team set up miniature soccer goals and gave out donuts in an attempt to draw in as large of a crowd as they could for their big matchup. It’s safe to say the student body responded. The electric atmosphere the crowd provided was no doubt a contributing factor in the tide’s huge upset win.
Alabama also used the impactful second half performances of Riley Mattingly Parker and Felicia Knox to propel them to the upset victory. Knox scored in the 53rd minute and followed it up with an assist to Parker in the 54th.
After the game, coach Hart could not find enough compliments to give his stars. “We finally have such a mature group,” Hart said.
Hart followed it up by praising his team for “not only being talented, but also displaying great leadership.”
That talent and leadership is what has helped the tide all season and will continue to do so, as they will more than likely land a top ten spot in the next rankings.
Alabama looks to continue their seven game unbeaten streak Sunday night when they host the Chattanooga Mocs.