Soccer visits LSU in SEC West clash

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The fourth-ranked Alabama soccer team is going to have yet another road contest on the docket on Sunday afternoon. 

The Crimson Tide (12-1-1, 5-0 SEC) will take its eight-match win streak into Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and put it on the line against LSU (8-2-2, 3-1-1 SEC).  

Alabama claimed its fourth win in as many tries against a ranked team on Thursday night with a 4-1 defeat of the No. 20 Ole Miss Rebels. After surrendering an early goal, the Crimson Tide scored three times in 10 minutes and four unanswered to take the match and keep its perfect conference mark intact. 

The Crimson Tide has now equaled its number of conference wins from 2021. 

LSU tied Texas A&M on the road 2-2 in its most recent showing. The Tigers did well to compete from a 2-0 hole but did not finish the comeback. LSU nevertheless staved off a second loss in three matches. It is almost a foregone conclusion that the purple and gold will welcome a return home, where the Tigers’ record is 4-0-1. 

Alabama is 5-1-1 away from Tuscaloosa despite facing a number of daunting opponents — BYU, Tennessee and Utah Valley to name a few. 

“We’ve put our team in a lot of difficult situations,” head coach Wes Hart said. “We’ve been tested in a variety of different ways, and we’ve responded to each one of those tests. It’s awesome to see. The confidence right now is at an all-time high.” 

“We’ve been tested, and we’ve passed those tests.” 

Against Ole Miss, leading scorer Riley Mattingly Parker returned to the scoring column with her 10th goal of the season. She has remained a lethal attacking force. Midfielder Felicia Knox continued to add to her school record for single-season assists, which now sits at 14 (and counting). 

“I was afraid she was going into a goal-scoring slump,” Hart joked. “She went a game without scoring one. Riley’s been awesome.” 

“She likes to be humble, but she’s got magic feet,” defender Sasha Pickard said of Knox. “Call it what it is.” 

As a team, Alabama kept its offensive output at a distance from the opposition, again decidedly winning the corner battle and outshooting Ole Miss by double digits. This has endured as a strength for the Crimson Tide in 2022 and is a vital asset in road matches.  

Unsurprisingly, LSU’s leading goal scorer does not match Parker, but Ida Hermannsdottir has six to her name and made her presence felt in the Texas A&M match. Mollie Baker has 13 shots on goal in just five starts (and four scores). The Tigers are equipped to make offensive noise. 

The Alabama defense has kept the opposing team off the scoreboard seven times this fall. It’s a point of emphasis for Hart, and Alabama has answered the bell, even fending two of its ranked opponents off from scoring.  

The Crimson Tide also blanked Texas A&M. 

LSU, meanwhile, has only done it twice in the regular season, both times to unranked foes. The constant Alabama attack will cause the Tigers problems. As the Rebels learned, when someone scores on Alabama, the ensuing response has the capability to turn the match on its head. 

The last time someone kept Alabama from scoring a goal, Alabama lost, but with the way the offense is clicking, it will be a tough task to keep the scoreboard free of crimson. 

Kickoff for the match is set for 1 p.m. CT on the SEC Network+.

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