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Alabama soccer drops heartbreaker to Ole Miss, 1-0

After winning its first Southeastern Conference game of the season on Friday night, the Alabama soccer team fell at home on Sunday afternoon, 1-0, to Ole Miss. The Rebels used a penalty kick in the second half to score the go-ahead goal. With the loss, the Tide falls to 6-3-1 on the season and 1-2-1 in SEC play. Ole Miss improves to 9-2 on the season and 2-2 in SEC play.

Both teams couldn’t find the back of the net during the first half in a period that was largely dominated by the Crimson Tide. Alabama continued to build on the identity it has created for itself in 2012 by dominating possession for much of the first half. Neither team was able to piece together the final buildup necessary to break through and entering halftime the score was tied at 0-0.

The Tide has established itself as team that makes good adjustments in the second half for much of the 2012 season, and on Sunday it continued this trend. Head coach Todd Bramble’s squad stormed out of the gates putting the pressure on the Rebels through the first 15 minutes of the half.

As the game turned into a more physical matchup, Kendall Khanna took a ball across the end line into the 18-yard box and was taken down. The Tide won a penalty kick and sophomore Theresa Diederich stepped up to take it. Diederich’s attempt was blocked by Ole Miss goalkeeper Kelly McCormick who recovered quickly to snuff out any chances for the Tide on a rebound.

Just a few minutes later, an Ole Miss player went down in the box and the Rebels earned a penalty kick in the 60th minute. Mandy McCalla stepped up to the spot and calmly scored to give the Rebels the 1-0 advantage it would not relinquish.

The Tide pieced together a number of buildups during the match’s final 25 minutes but was unable to connect on the final pass in the Ole Miss final third of the pitch.

Alabama returns to action on Friday when it hits the road to take on Vanderbilt in Nashville. On Sunday, the Tide will travel to Lexington to take on Kentucky to wrap up the first of two straight weekends on the road in conference play.

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