Alabama Soccer Takes on LSU in the Rain
Mixed weather saw mixed emotions at the Alabama soccer field Sunday afternoon. Steady rain fell as the game kicked off between LSU, who came in to the game unbeaten in SEC conference play, and Alabama, who is coming off of a three game winning streak including a stunning overtime victory at Georgia on Friday. The winner of the game would take sole possession of first place in the SEC.
As the rain fell in the first half neither team could manage a goal. But as both the Tigers and the Crimson Tide are competing for first place in the SEC Soccer standings a close, hard fought game should have been expected. Alabama had eight shots on the goal, and four corner kicks to the Tigers three attempts putting the LSU defense up against the wall for most of the first half. Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Rusk had a save in the first half to keep the game scoreless.
As the rain started to ease and the clouds started to part both teams picked up the pace in the second half. In the 48th minute of the half LSU’s Summer Clarke scored the first goal of the day with a shot to the right corner of the net giving the Tigers a 1 – 0 lead. But the Crimson Tide answered as senior Sophie Campise scored her first goal of the season in the 56th minute off an assist from Katie Bourgeois. The beautiful chip shot went over the head of LSU goalkeeper Megan Kinnerman from 12 yards out to even the score at 1-1. Neither team could break the tie as regulation ended sending the game into overtime.
With the score knotted at one and blue skies above the game was sent into overtime. NCAA rules declares that in regular-season play, two sudden-victory overtime periods of 10 minutes each shall be played.
The first overtime was much like that of the first 45 minutes of play with neither team scoring, Alabama had the first four shots in the overtimes which was also much like that of the first half keeping the keeping the LSU defense on the ropes.
With less than two minutes into the second overtime LSU’s Summer Clarke scored her second goal of the day giving the Tigers the win. The goal was LSU’s only shot on the Crimson Tide’s goal in the two overtimes but they made it count. Clarke squeezed past two Alabama defenders and kicked it to the far post slipping the ball past goalkeeper Emily Rusk.
The Tide controlled most of the run of play, out shooting the Tigers 18-7 for the game, including a 6-3 shots-on-goal advantage. “We had them on the ropes for long periods of stretches during that game and couldn’t finish the job unfortunately” head coach Todd Bramble said following the heartbreaking loss. Bramble added “We were clearly the better team, but we just let them off the hook”.
With the win, the Tigers lead the SEC standings and remain unbeaten in Southeastern Conference play, improving to 8-3-2 overall and 4-0-1 in the league. The Crimson Tide falls to 5-7 on the year and 3-2 in the SEC with the only other loss in SEC play being against Florida.
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