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

Bramble hits 100 as Tide shuts down ranked opponent

With starting goalkeeper Justine Bernier back from the Canadian national women’s team’s training camp, the Crimson Tide looked more prepared than ever for Friday’s match against Texas Tech.

Despite imperfect weather conditions, Alabama defeated the Red Raiders 1-0. In addition to the win, Bernier recorded another career shutout, while head coach Todd Bramble compiled his 100th career win at Alabama.

The Tide improved 2-0 in the series against Texas Tech. Friday night’s match up was just as zealous as last year’s. Although there was no double overtime like last year, the momentum of the game was changed within seconds. The Tide scored in the final two minutes of play in the first half and held on through the second half to earn the 1-0 victory. Freshman star Ariel Amijo scored the winning goal.

“I think if Texas Tech was in our conference, they would finish in the top three, Bramble said. “We need to get ourselves prepared to play at that level. I felt like, [in the first half], it was 60-40 possession for them. A lot of that was our own doing. We kept turning the ball over. We weren’t doing a good enough job taking care of the ball in the back.

“[However,] when you get a goal like [Ariel Amijo’s], it settles you down. You can play without fear. Also, knowing you have a world-class goalkeeper in the back helps. If you are a defender and you make a mistake, having Justine back there is [comforting]. It was a big time goal from a freshman.”

Amijo found the back of the net when the weather calmed after pouring for several minutes.

“We put [the rainy weather] behind us pretty quick,” Bernier said. “We dealt with it, but once it left, we went on. It didn’t affect us very much.”

Amijo beat the Texas Tech goalkeeper and tapped in a through ball from teammate Kendall Khanna to win the game.

“[Kendall and I] played club together,” Amijo said. “We know each other and can read each other well. She played it perfectly.”

Amijo’s goal was the second goal in her first season with the Tide.

Though Texas Tech made more attempts on goal, they fell short in accuracy. The Red Raiders were 7-1 before the game Friday and a ranked team. The win against Texas Tech generated a new confidence within this Alabama team.

“Our next milestone is to win a conference championship,” Bramble said. “The hundredth win really doesn’t mean as much to me as just the significance of this win tonight and what it does for our program. It was a big win over a good, NCAA tournament-type team.”

Amijo said, “I definitely think that [this game prepared us for next week]. Obviously, Texas Tech is a strong team. The final score was 1-0. This next team we play is in the SEC and will be much tougher.

“[We need to work on] possession in the midfield and quicker transitions on the defense [before our next match]. We have to get used to each other. It’s going to take time for us to read each other, but it will come with time.”

Bernier’s return gave the Tide its second straight shutout and improved Bernier to 3-0 on the year. Bernier explained the transition from the national level back to the collegiate level.

“It’s a different game,” she said. “[However,] the emotion [and] the desire to win is the same. Playing for [my] country was great, but it felt good to put on that Alabama jersey again. I definitely get a strong emotion when I get to represent my school, especially at home.”

The Tide finished up its non-conference play and is on to conference games with its first SEC game against Ole Miss on Friday. The game will be played in Tuscaloosa at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a match up against Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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