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 soccer drops third straight conference road game vs. Texas A&M

CW/ Riley Thompson
Alabama defender Marianna Annest (#13) chases after the ball against Texas A&M on Oct. 8 in College Station, Texas.

It was a disappointing night in College Station as the No. 19 Alabama Crimson Tide fell 3-1 to the Texas A&M Aggies. 

“They outworked us, they outhustled us, they outplayed us,” head coach Wes Hart said of the Aggies postgame. 

It was a massive letdown for a team riding the high from a massive win over in-state rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl of Soccer just three days prior. 

This marks the third straight SEC road loss for the Crimson Tide, after falling to Arkansas and Kentucky the past two weeks.  

“The SEC’s a tough conference,” Hart said. “These games are hard; Kentucky, Arkansas and A&M are three quality opponents. Playing on the road is hard, especially in a league like this, we’ve got to embrace the battle a bit more.”  

The lack of effort from the Alabama players down the stretch was clear as the Aggies fired off five more shots on goal than the Crimson Tide did in the second half.  

Texas A&M also played aggressive throughout, committing twelve fouls to Alabama’s nine. Alabama’s hallmark all year has been that they are the most physical team on the pitch, and that just was not the case tonight.  

In total, there were three yellow cards given out along with numerous injury breaks throughout the game.  

But while other players were going down, one triumphantly returned.  

Forward Gianna Paul had gone four straight games without finding the back of the net, and she finally changed that today. Midfielder Felicia Knox came away with a steal and dished it right to Paul who opened the game’s scoring with a strike from right outside the penalty box.  

“It was good getting Gianna a goal,” Hart said. 

Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, that would be the lone goal of the night.  

The Aggies completely controlled the final 38 minutes of the game. 

Aggie midfielder Taylor Pounds came through for Texas A&M in the 55th minute, scoring her first goal of the season to tie up the game.  

Just two minutes later, Aggie forward Malie Hayes put her squad ahead off an assist from midfielder Mia Pante. 

Hart saw it coming before it happened. 

“I’d say even before we got the goal, I didn’t like the start of the half,” Hart said. “It started with a long kickoff to the corner and we were kind of unsure of ourselves. We just looked timid that half.” 

The fatigue continued to set in as the game progressed. The Aggies played keep away for the majority of the period, forcing Alabama to run all over the field to try and regain possession of the ball. 

Over a twenty-six-minute stretch from that second A&M goal through the 83rd minute, Alabama was able to manage just two shot attempts.  

Then came the dagger. 

With Alabama officially in desperation mode, forward Jazmine Wilkinson and midfielder Sydney Becerra ran a perfectly executed give-and-go, leaving Wilkinson a clear path to the net. The Arizona State transfer and Canadian native put the ball right past goalkeeper Dylan Pixton for her seventh goal of the season. 

Eight minutes later, the final buzzer sounded, and the 2000 Aggie fans in attendance burst out into cheers as confetti fell.  

“It’s a great environment,” Hart said of Ellis Field. “We gave them a bit of momentum with those two back-to-back goals that they got so quick, gave them life, got the fans back into it, and they rode that momentum.” 

One of the more notable aspects of this game was the decision to start Pixton in net over freshman Coralie Lallier. The two had been alternating starts all year, with Pixton starting against Auburn last Thursday.  

“Coralie played the last two road games, the Kentucky game and the Arkansas game, both tough environments, both tough games, both tough opponents, and we lost both, Hart said, explaining his decision. “I thought maybe it was an opportunity since she played well at home, let’s give Dylan a start on the road and she what she can do.” 

Today marked the first time that Pixton gave up multiple goals in a game.  

“I don’t blame her by any means, I don’t think that loss was on the goalkeeper,” Hart said. “It was on the entire team, from the players to the coaching staff to everyone, we didn’t get it done.” 

The strategy at the goalkeeper position will be a big thing to look out for as the season progresses. In the meantime, the Crimson Tide now has five days to prepare for its next game, a home clash with LSU on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+. 

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