TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama picked up their second NCAA Tournament win in program history on Friday night, dominating the Jackson State Tigers 9-0.
The Tide looked a little jittery in the first 15 minutes, but once the offense got rolling in the attacking third, they could not be stopped. The Crimson Tide scored a season high nine goals, six of which came in the second half.
The entire game was a dominant showing for the Tide, both offensively and defensively. Alabama tallied 37 shots, 18 of which were on goal compared to just six for the Tigers. Alabama also forced an incredible 11 corners.
As expected, the stars got their goals. Riley Mattingly Parker, Ashlynn Serepca and Kat Rogers all scored in the first half. Felicia Knox, Reyna Reyes and Gianna Paul all added goals in the second half. However, some unfamiliar faces got their shining moment tonight for the Tide, including Emelie Kobler. The Alabama bench went absolutely wild when Kobler scored her second goal of the season in the 82nd minute.
“Absolutely,” Coach Hart said when asked if there was a family-like culture within the team. “There truly is a genuine happiness from the team for anyone’s success, whether it’s goals or awards.”
Emotions were high tonight for the Tide, especially from Mattingly Parker. This was Parker’s first time playing in the NCAA Tournament and it’s safe to say the moment was not too big for her. Parker shined with two goals and an assist. Parker’s second goal was her 16th on the season, setting the single season record for goals in program history.
“Since I was 15, I’ve been committed to Wes Hart and the University of Alabama. I promised to change the culture and bring a championship to Alabama. It’s such a relief to help change the culture and it’s the competitor in me that’s never satisfied and always wants more.” Parker said.
There is no doubt that Parker and Coach Hart are critical components to the rebuild and culture change of the program. They have set the standard for the future Alabama soccer teams to come.
Alabama will be back in action next Friday, when they host the winner of Portland and Arizona State.