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

Soccer loses first game of spring season


The Alabama Crimson Tide Soccer team played host to the Blazers of the University of Alabama – Birmingham, its neighbors from down I-20, for the fourth game of five in the spring exhibition season. 

Alabama entered the match undefeated, scoring six goals across the span while only conceding once. Coach Wes Hart’s formational changes coming into this new season seem to be making their impact felt, solidifying the Crimson Tide’s midfield and limiting many of the opposition’s opportunities.

Hart’s defense was due to be tested as it faced another team in the midst of an identity change, one that has presented its own challenges for opposing squads. The weather could not have been more perfect as the Crimson Tide was set to kick off against UAB.

The kick off saw Alabama pressing UAB high straight out of the gates, oftentimes pushing their three center-backs out near midfield to keep the Blazers pinned back. With the extra man in midfield, Hart’s team crafted several chances throughout the first half that the Tide will feel hard done not to have converted.

The first came from midfielder Taylor Hubbard. A ball coming in from the outside found her foot at the top of the box. Her shot forced a terrific save out of the UAB goalkeeper.

After Alabama failed to convert on a couple of half-chances, the side effect of its high line began to take its toll. UAB managed to create several chances on the counter attack that greatly troubled the Alabama back line. Goalkeeper, Alex Plavin, was forced to make a quick low save to her left in the 28th minute when a UAB shot nearly crept past.

The Crimson Tide opened up once again in the 28th minute, when a quick counter-attack by the Blazers led to a fizzing shot from the right that beat Plavin but was saved off the goal line by Kayla Mouton. 

“I just saw the girl going in and Plav was already too far over so I knew if I didn’t get there then it was going to go in,” Mouton said. “I can’t say I planned it, but It was nice.”

Alabama failed to converted a chance in the 34th minute when a terrific searching ball by Taylor Morgan beat the Blazer’s back line and found an in-stride Neaka Khalilian, who secured the ball well, rounded the keeper, but was unable to find her feet to put away the chance.

UAB provided the final clear-cut chance of the half when another UAB counter attack flashed past Plavin’s post, nearly giving the Blazers the late lead.

Despite the Alabama’s dominance in the midfield, the score remained nil-nil at the half.

The Crimson Tide was unable to imitate the success of its first half pressure, often finding itself on the receiving end of several piercing through balls that exposed their overextended back line.

The Crimson Tide found success early on, nearly netting first by way of a screamer coming from the boot of Chloe Maize. The ball sliced through the air between traffic from the top of the box.

UAB opened up the scoring in the 61st minute when a long searching diagonal ball found its way beyond the pressing back line, leaving Alabama scrambling to get back, before ultimately conceding when the UAB striker beat Plavin in the one on one.

Alabama pushed on, seeming to create chances at will with the wakeup call that goal delivered. Hubbard’s strike flashed over the bar and Mouton’s header was cleared off the line after beating the keeper.

With just a bit more than 13 minutes remaining in the contest, UAB doubled its advantage when another seeking through ball exposed a gap in the narrow defense and left Plavin on an island, where UAB demonstrated its clinical finishing.

Alabama seemed to control the remainder of the game, though many of the chances it created proved no real danger to the Blazer’s goal. A late penalty in the dying moments of the game saw the Crimson Tide’s only goal of the game by way of Abbie Boswell.

UAB held on and knocked off the Crimson Tide 2-1. It was a tale of two halves for Alabama, seeming to completely control the game in the first half, only to look a bit undone in the second.

“They’re a great opponent and they came out with a lot of energy,” Hubbard said, “It was hard to match. We just didn’t come out with the same intensity as them, but it’s something we can learn from.”

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