Soccer beats Southern Miss in home regular season opener


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama celebrates a first half goal in the Crimson Tide’s 2-0 win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Aug. 25 at the Alabama Soccer Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The Alabama soccer team effectively put last Sunday’s defeat in the rear-view mirror Thursday when it beat the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. The 2-0 blanking was the second win the Crimson Tide (2-1) has claimed in its home stadium, and the first of the regular season. 

The first goal of the match came in the third minute when senior midfielder Macy Clem scored on a header off a corner kick. For the second time in three regular season games, Alabama got on the board first and scored within the first five minutes of action. 

The goal was Clem’s first of the campaign. 

“Pretty much my whole time [in] college, we’ve been a pretty good team getting corner kicks, and we’re not as good at capitalizing on them, so in practice we’ve been really working on getting in, finishing them, and I felt it today, so I was excited about that,” Clem said. “I just made it my goal to get in front of [the defender].” 

Defensively, the Crimson Tide limited the Golden Eagles (0-2) to just one shot in the first half. Alabama had nine. The initial score wasn’t expanded upon before break time. 

“Disappointing first half,” said head coach Wes Hart. “We got the early goal, which was awesome, and then I thought we kind of tightened up […] not enough movement, activity off the ball, players on the ball, we were too slow with decision making […] but I thought the second half was excellent.” 

In the second frame, forward/midfielder Aislin Streicek added a goal to the tally in the 71st minute. By that time, the Alabama defense was making it tough on Southern Miss, staying with the ball and forcing possession changes. 

Streicek’s goal was also her first of the year. 

The match was a strong showcase on the defensive side of the ball, with McKinley Crone only facing two shots on goal and saving both. Southern Miss was limited to a mere five shots across the full 90 minutes of play. 

The offense was more efficient in the second half than the first, with 23 of the 32 shots coming in the final 45 minutes. Command of territory was there. The Golden Eagles couldn’t stay out of perilous spots for long stretches of time during the half, exacerbating the difficulty for a group already playing from behind. 

The numbers on offense once again reflected significant output. The Crimson Tide’s 32 shots were an early-season high after the team recorded 22 against Miami. 

The number of corners taken by Alabama doubled the number taken by Southern Miss, 8-4. 

“Something that we’ve really made a conscious effort of these last couple seasons is just being a higher-pressing team […] I think that winning the ball in their half keeps us closer to goal and gives us a lot more chances,” Hart said. 

Next on the schedule is a home date with Clemson, a rematch of the first NCAA tournament victory in Crimson Tide program history. 

“I’m excited to play Clemson again,” Clem said. “We just need to work together, press really hard, have a lot of energy, and I think we can do really well against them.” 

The match is slated to kick off at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.

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