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

Late-game heroics propel Alabama over Auburn for 4th straight Iron Bowl of Soccer victory

CW / Riley Thompson
Alabama forward Gianna Paul (#14) controls the ball against Auburn on Oct. 5 at the Alabama Soccer Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama soccer got back in the win column against its in-state rival with a game-winning 86th minute goal from midfielder Felicia Knox, defeating Auburn 2-1.

“I’m proud of our team, I’m proud of the way everybody worked. The Iron Bowl’s what we play for,” Knox said postgame. 

The Crimson Tide got out to a fast start in this one, with freshman midfielder Nadia Ramadan netting her third career goal in the ninth minute off an assist from midfielder Isabel Smith. 

“Nadia’s a fantastic player,” head coach Wes Hart said. “We knew when she was coming in that she had some special qualities and it just took us a little bit of time to get her integrated into the group. She’s so good at unlocking defenses with her passing and then she can score goals as well. You saw it last weekend against Kentucky and this week against Auburn. She’s a special talent.” 

Alabama looked primed to go into the half with the advantage, but then Dylan Driver drove one into the net in the 38th minute in a wild sequence that featured multiple deflections and rebounds and saw defender Brooke Steere attempting to play goalie after keeper Dylan Pixton ended up on the ground.

“We wanted to stay positive. We did some good things. Can’t let that goal take away from the things we did that half,” Hart said, recapping his halftime words to the team. “But we also said let’s not be content with just playing a solid half. We can do more.” 

For the first 40 minutes of the second half, it looked like the Crimson Tide was destined for another draw.

But then Knox came through and buried the game-winner in the bottom right corner of the net from 18 yards out.

“She’s one of the top midfielders in the country,” Hart said, referring to Knox, who recently became Alabama soccer’s all-time assists leader with 28.

Alabama faced heavy pressure from Auburn throughout the game, and defensive anchor Bella Scaturro Bright was pleased with the way the team handled it. 

“I’m happy with us. I think we faced a lot of pressure and I think we dealt with it really well,” Scaturro Bright said. “Boxing out backside, tracking, I think we did a really good job. If we just keep that up I think we’ll be successful in the back third and give ourselves more opportunities.”

Hart expanded on this take, providing an uncharacteristically long breakdown. 

“The conversation at halftime was we need more movement, we need more activity. … We need penetrative runs, we need overlaps, we need underlaps, we need activity if we want to break them down,” Hart said. “But again, credit to Auburn, they’re a stingy team, difficult opponent, but we prevailed in the end.” 

Indeed, they did prevail, and despite having lost their last two road games, and having their lowest poll ranking of the year, the Alabama squad seems as upbeat and energized as ever. 

“As a team we feel like we’re getting progressively better,” Knox said.

Alabama has a long trip ahead of it, as it prepares to head to College Station to take on the 6-5-2 Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. and will air on SEC Network+.  

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