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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

From Alabama to Egypt and beyond: Nadia Ramadan’s path to success

CW / Natalie Teat
Alabama soccer player Nadia Ramadan (#10) kicks the ball downfield against Texas A&M on Oct. 8 on College Station, Texas.

Friday night, the Crimson Tide is going to step out onto the pitch at the Alabama Soccer Stadium for the final time this year as it takes on Western Carolina University in the first round of the 2023 NCAA tournament. 

It’s the team’s third straight year qualifying for the Big Dance, the first time this has happened in program history. That’s an impressive feat for a squad that lost players such as fifth overall National Women’s Soccer League pick Reyna Reyes, all-time NCAA minutes leader McKinley Crone, and World Cup veteran Riley Tanner from last year’s team. 

So how was Alabama able to make it back here? 

Look no further than the rise of freshman forward Nadia Ramadan. 

Ramadan grew up in Illinois, playing high school ball in Huntley, a suburb of Chicago. 

It was there that she caught the eye of head coach Wes Hart, and in July 2022 she verbally committed to play for the Crimson Tide following her senior season. 

Adjusting to Division I soccer is never easy. Add in the fact that the SEC was the highest-ranked conference in the nation per ESPN’s rating percentage index, and the fact that Alabama was ranked in the top 10 for most of its nonconference matchups, and it is easy to see why Ramadan did not get much playing time early in the season. 

The freshman played over 40 minutes just one time in the team’s first 11 games, scoring her only goal in garbage time of a 5-1 win over Mercer. 

“I think it took us a little while to get her into the fold, get her adjusted with the team,” Hart said. 

But finally, it happened. 

In the SEC home opener against Vanderbilt, Ramadan notched her second career start, in place of the injured Gianna Paul. 

Although she did not score, Ramadan played an excellent 51 minutes as Alabama came away with a 1-0 victory. 

She only took off from there.  

Ramadan scored a late game-tying goal the next game against Kentucky, and although the Crimson Tide would ultimately lose 2-1, the value she provided to the team was now undeniable. 

She then proceeded to score in the team’s next two home games, wins over Auburn and LSU. 

“It was taking a bit from me in the beginning to fit in with the group,” Ramadan said following the LSU game. “Now I can recognize the moments where I can impact the game and I’ve been finishing my chances.” 

Her teammates are loving everything about the freshman’s emergence. 



“Nadia is awesome,” senior defender Marianna Annest said. “The first thing that comes to mind is she’s just a goofy lady. We’re laughing at her a lot, but also with her a lot. She just brings an awesome energy to the team.” 

That “goofiness” is extremely easy to see from her interactions with teammates on the sidelines, to the time she was asked to give a breakdown of her goal against LSU. 

“I think all my goals are awesome!” the freshman exclaimed, dodging the question. 

But it’s not all fun and games. Everybody recognizes the significance of what is happening. 

“She just gets the game,” Hart said. “She’s not the quickest, not the fastest player, but she finds good spots, she’s strong, and she has good vision, good anticipation. There are so many good qualities about her.” 

And Ramadan’s age certainly is not lost on anybody. 

“Having a freshman come in and do what she’s done has been incredible,” redshirt sophomore defender Brooke Steere said. “The program’s in good hands.” 

Those who followed the team last year likely have déjà vu by now. 

That is because Ramadan’s arc is nearly identical to Paul’s. 

The now-sophomore forward from Long Island came in last season and scored eight goals en route to being named 2022 SEC Freshman of the Year. 

Paul has seen firsthand the benefits of playing alongside someone like Ramadan. 

“Her field vision is great,” Paul said. “She’s very easy to play with. She opens up so many opportunities for me. And the more we play together, the better we’ll both get.” 

Ramadan, who was just named to the 2023 SEC All-Freshman Team, is not intimidated by the pressure of the upcoming NCAA tournament.  

In fact, it pales in comparison with what she is used to. 

Ramadan has spent the past four years as a member of the Egyptian women’s national team, first playing at the U-17 level before moving up to U-20. 

She even captained a match for the U-17 team against Nigeria. 

“Playing nationally against different countries is something I’m so grateful for,” Ramadan said. “It’s such a unique experience that so many players can’t have. And it definitely set me up to play at the college level.” 

At just 18 years old, Ramadan has a lot of soccer left in front of her. 

But there is one thing that will always be on her mind. 

“I want to make it to the World Cup,” Ramadan said. “We want to keep going and we want to make soccer in Egypt into something that is really good.” 

There’s no telling how far Alabama is going to go in this year’s tournament. We have no way of knowing what the freshman will achieve in her time in Tuscaloosa, where she will go afterward, or if she will be able to get her country to the World Cup. 

But what we do know is that Nadia Ramadan has a promising road ahead of her. 

“She’s only going to continue to grow,” Hart said. “The sky truly is the limit for her.” 

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