Tide’s season ends in heartbreak

Jordan Eichenblatt

The women’s soccer team traveled to Auburn for a win-or-go-home game. Tied for eighth in the Southeastern Conference points standings, the Tide needed a win over in-state Auburn to advance to postseason play in the SEC tournament.

Victoria Fredrick found the back of the net for the fourth time this season after the ball was deflected by an Auburn defender and found the net 12 minutes in the first half.

Alabama was 17 seconds away from winning the Iron Bowl of soccer for the first time in more than eight years, but Auburn’s Julie King headed a free kick in to even the score, sending it into overtime.

Three minutes into overtime, Ana Cate sent the game winner in for Auburn, ending the Crimson Tide’s season. The Tide finished the year 8-8-2 overall and 3-6-2 in SEC play.

The Tide did not come away empty handed. Brooke Rogers was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District IV Team.

“Brooke has worked hard in all phases of her personal development throughout her entire college career,” Alabama head coach Todd Bramble said. “This award recognizes her high level of achievement on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”

Also taking away postseason awards are goalkeeper Justine Bernier, who was named to the first team, while Victoria Frederick garnered second-team accolades. Newcomer Molly Atherton was named to the All-Freshmen team.

“Justine, Victoria and Molly are all certainly deserving of All-SEC recognition,” Bramble said. “They all brought different elements to the team and were all leaders in their own right.”

Bernier and Atherton return to the Tide next season, while Rogers and Fredrick graduate. Bernier is the career saves leader, which she broke this year. Atherton finished the season with two assists and started every game.

“Molly created a nice foundation for herself by playing nearly every minute of every SEC game this season,” Bramble said. “She showed impressive composure and technique under pressure as a freshman, battling in the center of the midfield.”

The Tide return to the pitch after Christmas break to welcome spring enrollees and try and build off its second .500 season in three years.