No. 3 Alabama moves to SEC semifinals with 2-0 shutout of Mississippi State 


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama soccer players celebrate a goal in the Crimson Tide’s 2-0 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Nov. 1 at the Ashton Brosnaham Soccer Complex in Pensacola, Fla.

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The No. 3 Alabama soccer team is still playing in the SEC Tournament after a Tuesday victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the quarterfinals. The 2-0 shutout is the 11th time that Alabama has blanked an opponent this season. 

The Crimson Tide (18-1-1, 11-0 SEC) is the top seed in Pensacola, Florida, and rematched the Bulldogs after their first-round win against Texas A&M. 

With the advantage of rest on its side, Alabama scored twice in the first half and that was enough. Tuesday’s match was the first time the Crimson Tide had been held off the board in the second half since facing Brigham Young at the very beginning of September. 

Forward Ashlynn Serepca scored the first goal in the 13th minute off of beautiful ball movement from forwards Riley Mattingly Parker and Riley Tanner, who were each credited with the assist. Serepca took sole possession of second on the team’s goal-scoring list with her seventh score.  

Mattingly Parker, the team leader in scores with a dozen, returned to action after missing the Iron Bowl of Soccer. 

“We understand each other, and we play with one another really well,” Serepca said. “I think that’s how these goals are being created. That team dynamic is something special.” 

The game-winner was in the books, but the second score did not come as easily. Midfielder Macy Clem snuck one past Mac Titus and just over the line to add to the lead in the waning seconds of the 32nd minute. 

The second half brought chances for the Bulldogs (11-5-4, 5-5-2 SEC), but they failed to capitalize. The best chance Mississippi State had of making it a game was in the 82nd minute off a corner kick. Goaltender McKinley Crone brought the ball down for the save. It was the biggest of her three on the night. 

“You expect your goalie to make a big play for you, and Mac has done that all year long,” head coach Wes Hart said. “When we needed a big save, she’s come up with it.” 

“I thought, overall, it was a dominant performance,” Hart said. “We limited them to very few chances.” 

Hart added that he feels his team is in a good spot and has consistently praised his team’s handling of the season’s accomplishments and lack of complacency. 

Alabama was able to log more than 20 shots in the match, and more than doubled the Bulldogs’ output, 23-11. Thirteen of Alabama’s shots were on goal. There were even chances throughout the match to add to the lead. 

Titus, though, performed excellently, with nine saves to keep her team in the matchup throughout. The Crimson Tide took the win in the corner battle, 9-2. None resulted in a goal on Thursday, but Alabama’s propensity for obtaining corners has persisted nevertheless. 

The Crimson Tide will face the Vanderbilt Commodores in the semifinals. Though the teams did not meet in the regular season, Vanderbilt traveled to Tuscaloosa for an exhibition on Aug. 13 and lost 3-1. The Commodores are the fifth seed in the bracket. 

Kickoff for the match, with the winner set to advance to the conference title game, is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT on Thursday on the SEC Network.

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