Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama suffers second loss of season vs. Kentucky

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama soccer player Nadia Ramadan (#10) kicks the ball in a game against Kentucky on Sept. 29 in Lexington, KY.

It was a disappointing day for the Crimson Tide in Lexington, as Alabama fell 2-1 to Kentucky to drop below .500 in SEC play. 

The Wildcats entered the game undefeated at 7-0-3, and that success continued into this game. They have exceeded all expectations this year after being picked to finish 12th in the SEC preseason.  

Kentucky and Alabama have had two of the best defenses in the SEC this year, and both teams set a very physical tone early on, with nine fouls committed in the first 14 minutes. Any time either squad got into the attack zone, someone made a play on the ball, leading to a grand total of zero shots on goal by either side in the first half.  

But as the game wore on, the defenses wore down, and in the 60th minute, fifth-year senior Jordyn Rhodes beat freshman keeper Coralie Lallier in the top corner to put the Wildcats on the board. That was the 44th goal of Rhodes’ career, tying Kim LaBelle’s 26-year-old program record.  

Things looked bleak for the Crimson Tide. The offense seemingly had no direction or flow, and Kentucky was dominating in terms of time of possession.  

Midfielder Nadia Ramadan was the one who changed that. In the 68th minute the freshman had a shot blocked from five feet away. Not to be denied, she cashed in a cross from defender Gessica Skorka just 75 seconds later to even the game up at 1 apiece.  

“Great goal by Nadia,” head coach Wes Hart said. “She looks better and better each week.” 

The freshman midfielder and Egyptian national team member has seen her minutes balloon the past few weeks, even earning consecutive starts these past two games.  

Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, Rhodes was not done. She earned a standing ovation from all 2000 fans in attendance after finishing off a perfect corner kick from Grace Phillpotts to break the record and score what would prove to be the game winner. 

“Rhodes is extremely talented. Going into the game, we did not feel like we would be under a ton of pressure. But [I] also knew that it was going to be very difficult to break them down,” Hart said. They are very good at hanging around and keeping themselves in games long enough to create a chance or two for Rhodes, and when they do, she takes advantage of her opportunities. She’s got great instincts and great timing in the air.” 

The contest marked the first SEC win of Kentucky head coach Troy Fabiano’s career. It also was the first time the Wildcats have defeated a top 10 opponent in almost a decade, when they took down No. 5 Florida back in 2014. Hart had nothing but positive things to say about Fabiano’s squad postgame. 

“They’ve only given up four goals all season. We knew they would be difficult to break down,” Hart said. “I was pleased with our performance in the second half. I thought we got into some very dangerous areas, but too often the final cross would let us down. I do feel these past two games versus Vanderbilt and Kentucky had been some of our best soccer, so I’m optimistic.”

Alabama has a full week to prepare for its next game, a home matchup with the 5-4-3 Auburn Tigers. The game will kick off at 6 p.m. and air on SEC Network. 

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