No. 4 Alabama uses fierce offense to down No. 20 Ole Miss


CW / David Gray

Alabama’s Felicia Knox (8) celebrates with her teammates in the Crimson Tide’s 4-1 win over the No. 20 Ole Miss Rebels on Oct. 6 at the Alabama Soccer Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

In one of the biggest home matches in program history, No. 4 Alabama had a statement to make.  

No. 20 Ole Miss came into Tuscaloosa, ready to wreak vengeance on the Crimson Tide after suffering a defeat last week. 

The visitors came out on a mission and found an early spark when leading scorer Marykate McGuire took advantage of a goalkeeper McKinley Crone slip in the 11th minute. Ole Miss (9-2-2, 3-2 SEC) had opened the floodgates, but not for its own team. 

Starting in the 15th minute, Alabama (12-1-1, 5-0 SEC) scored three times in 10 minutes. First, midfielder Felicia Knox found the back of the net on a picturesque corner. She then added to her school record for assists by setting up forward Riley Mattingly Parker for her 10th goal of the season. 

Rounding out the first-half scoring was midfielder Macy Clem, off a header courtesy of a Knox corner. Midfielder Kat Rogers almost added on with less than a minute before the break but hit the woodwork. 

Knox’s season assist counter: 14. Halftime score: 3-1. 

The first score of the second half also belonged to Alabama. Forward Brooke Steere scored her first of the campaign in the 70th minute.

Ole Miss thought it had smacked Alabama in the mouth. Instead, the Rebels were held off the scoreboard for the rest of the night.  

“I thought the way we played ourselves into the game, and throughout the rest of the game, it was a point we addressed at halftime, I thought the team was quite good after [Ole Miss’s goal],” head coach Wes Hart said. “Our response in each of those games [when the other team scored first] has been pretty awesome. We don’t want to concede a goal, but if we do, I think we know we’ll get our chances.” 

Hart said he didn’t think Ole Miss went off script, highlighting their tempo, set pieces and saying they caused a few scares in the first half. 

“We dealt with it incredibly well,” Hart said. 

“Regardless of the score, I think we try to keep the same mindset,” Knox said. “If we’re down, we’re going to be a little bit more urgent — we didn’t really panic. We knew that we could continue to play our game if we brought urgency and did our job.” 

“When everyone feeds off each other, I feel like the entire team is lights out,” defender Sasha Pickard said.  

Pickard praised Knox, saying she’s been the link between the offense and defense.  

“She’s such a leader on the field and off of it. It speaks for itself, honestly. You can see her taking on four or five players.” 

The Crimson Tide has now won eight straight games and gone 12 straight without tasting defeat. 

Alabama won the offensive battle once more, outshooting Ole Miss 18-6. The 9-2 corner victory was one of the better corner battle wins of the campaign, especially considering the scoring opportunities it created. 

“I wish I could take more credit for those,” Hart said. “The truth of the matter is we get good service, and we get hungry players in the box. Most teams will try to mark your most dangerous player or two, but who are you going to mark in the box?” 

Alabama will travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.

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