Soccer wins 3-0 over North Alabama


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama’s Reyna Reyes (16) smiles after scoring a goal in the Crimson Tide’s 3-0 victory over the North Alabama Lions on Sept. 11 at the Alabama Soccer Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

On its return home from Utah, the soccer team got a late start because of rain. That didn’t stop the 18th-ranked Crimson Tide from shutting out The University of North Alabama 3-0 to move to six straight matches without a loss. 

The match was delayed nearly two hours, and the teams played scrappy defense during the first half, with neither group letting up in the first several minutes.  

Alabama (6-1-1) scored its first goal of the match off a header from Riley Mattingly Parker, who is always around the ball Sunday’s goal was her sixth of the season. That came in the 30th minute. The season is fast approaching the point where other teams will have to plan around the inevitable Mattingly Parker score. 

In the 50th minute, defender Gessica Skorka, who has been prolific in the assists category, scored her first goal of the season. Like Mattingly Parker, she has stayed on the ball throughout the campaign.  

“I’ve been waiting to get that one,” Skorka said. “It felt really good … I was thinking ‘Play the ball across the front of the goal and see what happens.’ I’ve had a bunch of assists this year and I was figuring, ‘Here’s going to be another one,’ and then it deflected … so I took it.” 

Reyna Reyes has been on a scoring tear of her own, as she notched her third in three games in the 77th minute for the match’s final goal. Reyes scored to even up the Utah match and preserve the unbeaten streak and added another against Utah Valley University. 

Kennesaw State University transfer Dylan Pixton shared time in goal with McKinley Crone, playing the second half and recording her first Alabama save. Head coach Wes Hart said his hope is to get Pixton experience so that if she is called upon, she is ready. 

“Hopefully, [Crone] stays healthy … but if not, we need to have another goalkeeper who’s ready,” Hart said. “We had confidence in Dylan, and she didn’t get tested a whole lot, but the few times she did, I thought she looked solid.” 

Hart said it was a great performance from the team.  

“They were hard to break down,” Hart said. “I think that goal going into halftime was huge … We did a great job of keeping territory, keeping the ball, continuing to create chances.” 

Alabama vastly outperformed the Lions (3-2-3) on offense, with 29 shots to three. Ten Crimson Tide shots were on goal. North Alabama was blanked in corners, while Alabama had 10. Payton Yates had seven saves, shutting the Crimson Tide off from extending the lead even further. 

Once again, as has become the norm, the Crimson Tide will have a challenging game on Thursday. It will be the first ranked-on-ranked game in Tuscaloosa. The University of South Carolina Gamecocks are ranked fourth in the nation.  

“We know that being ranked No. 18 is a big deal, but we want more,” Skorka said. “We want to see how far we can get.”  

Hart echoed the sentiment, saying his group is not satisfied by any means.  

“We want to be there at the end of the year,” Hart said. 

Kickoff for the pivotal SEC opener against South Carolina is set for Thursday at 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]