Preview | Alabama soccer to face off against LSU in SEC tournament

Alabama Athletics trades one Tiger team for another.

Alabama women’s soccer (2-4-2) will head to Orange Beach, Ala. this Friday, Nov. 13, for the start of the SEC Tournament. The Crimson Tide enters as the 11th seed, which is the highest possible seed it could earn heading into the final week of the season, and is set to compete against the lowest-seeded team, the LSU Tigers. 

This will not be the first time Alabama and LSU will compete against each other in the 2020 season. The first match between the two took place three weeks ago in Baton Rouge and resulted in a 3-3 tie.

Bama vs. LSU – Oct. 23

Alabama got off to a hot start by capturing an early 2-0 advantage, with both goals coming from sophomore Carly Wyatt. It took five minutes for LSU to respond with a goal from Tinaya Alexander to cut Alabama’s lead in half heading into halftime.

Sophomore Serena Pham scored in the 57th minute of the second half to give Alabama a two-goal advantage for the second time, 3-1. But LSU’s Tinaya Alexander scored a goal of her own just two minutes after Pham’s to bring the Tigers within one point of a tie, 3-2. Alabama’s continued struggle to surrender goals in the final minutes of the game came back to haunt the team. Once again, LSU’s Molly Thompson scored the equalizer with 15 minutes left of the game. 

The three goals from LSU is the most Alabama’s goalkeeper McKinley Crone has allowed this season. 

What’s at stake on Friday

Since their first match, Alabama has collected a 1-1 record while LSU has gone 0-3 and has yet to win a game this season. 

The Alabama defense will have to keep an eye out for Alexander once again, as she is LSU’s leading scorer with three goals. In Alabama’s game against Auburn, the defense did a good job of “sandwiching,” or putting two players on each side of the opponent with the ball. The Crimson Tide defense must do the same with Alexander. 

Crone captured her first shutout of the season last weekend against Auburn. Crone was successful because of her ability to win the one-on-one situations. But  the Alabama defense must limit the amount of one-on-one situations it puts Crone in, since that’s proved a successful method for its opponents.

Reyes was also a key contributor for Alabama in its game against Auburn. Reyes kept the Alabama possession alive after winning several one-on-one balls.

In close games, as this one looks to be, it is important to limit the free balls, which means staying out of foul trouble. LSU has the upper hand here, since Alabama has run into foul trouble nearly every game. The Crimson Tide is at the top of the conference in committing fouls, averaging 13.25 fouls per game and 106 total on the season. 

The key for the Alabama offense is to feed junior Riley Mattingly the ball. Mattingly has yet to score since the season opener against Tennessee but has proved through the course of the season to create scoring opportunities with the ball at her feet.

Kickoff between Alabama and LSU is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on the SEC Network.