Soccer moves to 2-0 in SEC with win over Tennessee


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama’s Reyna Reyes (16) celebrates a goal with Riley Tanner (12) and Ashlynn Serepca (19) in the Crimson Tide’s 4-2 win over the Tennessee Volunteers on Sept. 22 at Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The No. 6 Alabama Crimson Tide earned a hard-fought 4-2 road win over The University of Tennessee in a physical match on Thursday. The win is Alabama’s fifth straight and extends its unbeaten streak to nine matches. 

Midfielder and defender Reyna Reyes was the offensive MVP of the match, scoring twice for her fourth and fifth goals of the campaign. The first knotted the contest at one in the 14th minute and the second was the final goal of the night in the 50th minute. 

Team goals leader and forward Riley Mattingly Parker scored her eighth of the season against the Volunteers to give Alabama (9-1-1) the lead. Forward Ashlynn Serepca followed with her third to put a three in the Alabama scoring column. 

Tennessee’s Jordan Fusco got the Volunteers (5-3-1) on the board in the sixth minute. After Reyes tied it, though, the home team wouldn’t lead again. The next Volunteer score came with less than 10 minutes in the first half on a penalty kick by Claudia Dipasupil.  

The halftime score was 3-2. 

In the second half, things began to get physical, with multiple yellow cards going against Alabama. The only score was Reyes’s second goal. Tennessee could not mount a scoring rally of any kind. With the win, Alabama moved to a perfect 2-0 in SEC play. The Crimson Tide is 4-1-1 on the road. 

The Crimson Tide offense has remained potent and can hurt opposing sides in a variety of ways. To complement that, there are several players who can just score. Mattingly Parker has been emphasizing scoring, and even though she leads the team in goals, she is far from the only Alabama player other teams have to watch for.  

When given opportunities close to the net, the Crimson Tide didn’t let up. Goals two and three came in quick succession and were on defensive miscues by the Volunteers. Alabama took advantage, setting the tone and snatching the momentum. 

The defense has been a strong attribute for Alabama this fall, and it continued to be against Tennessee. In a road environment, it can be hard not to let teams get one back on you, but the Crimson Tide defended strongly in half number two and didn’t allow that to happen. 

“That’s the SEC champs and the SEC preseason number one that we just beat,” head coach Wes Hart said. “Our players are playing with an incredible amount of confidence. It’s fun to be a part of.” 

Hart added that he couldn’t say enough good things about Reyes. 

“She is so important to this team,” Hart said. “She is so tenacious on defense, but also adds a ton to our attack.” 

He said the team is confident and hungry but needs to keep taking things one game at a time. 

Alabama had 29 shots to Tennessee’s nine, maintaining the strong offensive output it has kept up all season long. This time, the Crimson Tide’s victory in the corner battle was narrower, eight to seven. The extra corner mattered — that’s how Reyes scored the first goal, off of midfielder Felicia Knox’s ninth assist of 2022. 

The Crimson Tide will return to Tuscaloosa for a Sunday match with Texas A&M. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.

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