Another day, another rematch: Soccer looks to avenge 2021 season in match with BYU

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

There’s no slowing down the soccer schedule following the team’s 3-0 shutout of Clemson. On Thursday night, the Crimson Tide (3-1) will set up shop in enemy territory in a quest to snag another upset, this time over No. 9 Brigham Young University.  

The Cougars ended Alabama’s NCAA tournament run, and its season, in 2021. 

BYU ended the campaign just shy of the national title. Now, they’re the first leg of Alabama’s Utah road trip consisting of three games in five days.  

On Sunday, Clemson was unable to avenge its 2021 tournament loss. Alabama hopes to flip that narrative in its favor. Forward Riley Mattingly Parker scored the winning goal on a header in the 11th minute, adding a second goal in the 79th minute. Gianna Paul scored her first collegiate goal in the 72nd minute to round out the 3-0 margin. 

Alabama was thrilled to punctuate the rematch with an emphatic victory after beating Clemson by a single goal in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. 

“We wanted to show everyone we can be a top-25 team too,” Mattingly Parker said. 

The 2021 match between the Crimson Tide and Cougars was not competitive, with Alabama losing 4-1 and having only half the number of shots that BYU did. Felicia Knox scored the only goal for Alabama. 

The unfinished business narrative has dominated recent stretches for the Crimson Tide, and now it will again. The statement against Clemson was a huge early season moment, but the parameters of facing BYU will be completely different. 

This time, Alabama is the road team. This time, they’re the ones who got beat last season.  

BYU is 2-0-1 in 2022. The Cougars have scored a combined three goals in their wins — the Crimson Tide has nine.  

BYU’s wins are over California State Fullerton and Ohio State. The draw was a 2-2 stalemate with Colorado on Aug. 29. 

The Crimson Tide is 1-1 on the road, having scored four road goals and allowed just one. Alabama has won two consecutive games. 

“We certainly want to enjoy this win,” head coach Wes Hart said following the matchup with Clemson. “But we don’t want this to linger, we don’t want to be content. We won a big game but now we’ve got to shift focus to BYU. We want to make sure that we’re ready and we’re prepared for that.” 

Hart also mentioned BYU’s closeness to earning a national title, and said they’d be an incredibly difficult opponent. He nevertheless expects his team to be confident due to the win over Clemson. 

Mattingly Parker said she knew Clemson would be fired up to play Alabama, and now, with the shoe on the other foot, the Crimson Tide aims to take down another ranked foe. With a win and successful road trip on the whole, it is possible Alabama could join the rankings. 

The match is scheduled for kickoff on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. CT on BYUtv.

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