Soccer takes tough 1-0 loss at Miami to end Florida road trip


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama midfielder Felicia Knox (8) carries the ball up the field in the Crimson Tide’s 1-0 loss to the Miami Hurricanes on Aug. 21 at Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables, Fla.

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

After a 4-0 victory against Florida Atlantic on Friday morning, the Alabama soccer team was held off the scoreboard against Miami, falling 1-0 in Coral Gables. 

The Crimson Tide went 1-1 in its opening stretch of two matches in Florida. 

Hurricanes forward Megan Morgan scored the contest’s lone goal, finding the back left portion of the net in the 32nd minute off an assist from Julia Edwards. Of Alabama’s 22 shots in the match, six came in the first half.  

Sometimes, numbers don’t tell the whole story and Miami’s lone shot of the half was true. 

After the first and only Hurricanes corner kick attempt, which took place in the 25th minute and was thwarted by the Crimson Tide, the Hurricanes began to establish consistent possession of the ball in the Alabama half of the pitch.  

This control of territory led to the goal.  

Alabama did possess the ball with opportunities in the first half but failed to get a truly clean look. After the break, the openings started coming, but Miami goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais and the defensive corps stepped up.  

Two of her three saves came in the second half, and numerous Crimson Tide shots were blocked. 

The looks that did emerge, therefore, ended up being met with resistance. 

A 16-shot second half couldn’t yield a tie or better. During the first regular season outing, Alabama commanded the offensive side of the ball.  

Though offensive possession was solid for the Crimson Tide in the match, the Miami defense staunchly restricted scoring opportunities, particularly in the final stages of the first half after the offense recorded its goal. 

The earliest stage of the season has seen Alabama score goals at extremely opportune times. Whether that be near the beginning or end of a half, someone has found the net at a point in the match that helps set the tone.  

That didn’t happen on Sunday. 

“[I] thought we started the game well, having a lot of the ball and territory, but we struggled to create any clear-cut chances,” head coach Wes Hart said. “As the first half wore on, we gave some bad balls … We gave them some life and momentum and they were able to capitalize on it.” 

Hart said of the second half, “We had the majority of the ball and territory and were able to get a few good looks, but credit to Miami for keeping the ball out of the net.” 

Of the whopping 22 shots, four were taken by forward Riley Tanner. That was one more than the entire Miami team had. A host of Crimson Tide players, including Tanner, equaled Miami’s number of second half shots by themselves. 

Other such players were Brooke Steere, Gessica Skorka, Reyna Reyes and Felicia Knox. 

Goalkeeper McKinley Crone logged her lone save in the 73rd minute. The Crimson Tide stood fast defensively, not allowing Miami to extend the lead by succumbing to additional goals. 

“I’ve got mixed feelings on the road trip,” Hart said. “We certainly came here with the expectation of getting two wins, so from a results standpoint, we failed to get the job done […] we can’t dwell on this result.” 

Alabama outshot Miami 22-3 in the match. Additionally, the Crimson Tide’s seven corners outnumbered the Hurricanes by six.  

Three of the Crimson Tide’s shots were on goal. Two of the Hurricanes’ shots were on goal. Both teams committed a double-digit number of fouls Alabama had 14 and Miami had 10. Alabama collected two yellow cards. 

Speedy freshman Gianna Paul had her first collegiate start in Coral Gables.  

“Gianna has and will have a big impact this season,” Hart said. “She still has to get used to playing at this level and adjust to more physical defenders. As the season continues, we will find ways to exploit her speed.” 

Tuscaloosa will play host to a regular season soccer contest for the first time this year on Thursday. Alabama is set to face Southern Miss at 6 p.m. CT.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]