Bamalytics: Examining the secret to Alabama soccer's success on offense this seasonBy Matthew Speakman | 09/22/2016 10:20pm
Alabama soccer has experienced solid offensive production to start the season. In its first nine games, the team has scored 21 goals, averaging 2.33 goals a game. So, what is the reason behind The Crimson Tide’s success? Well, there are many things to look at.
To start off with, Alabama’s forwards have been taking advantage of the chance that they have been given. Junior Lacey Clarida, Alabama’s main forward who recently went down with an injury, has put 13 of her 22 shots on target (59 percent) in the first four games. Of those 22 total shots, Clarida has found the back of the net six times, with a success rate of 27 percent. Sophomore Abbie Boswell has had similar if not better success, scoring five goals off of 15 shots on target. Boswell has been key in many of Alabama’s offensive attacks.
Sophomore Chatham DeProspro has come on lately for the Crimson Tide. In Alabama’s road game against Tennessee, she netted a hat trick, becoming Alabama’s first player to do so since the 2014 season. She shot three times, putting all three shots on target and all of those shots were converted for a goal. That game against Tennessee (a 5-1 victory) marked the fourth time that the Crimson Tide has scored four or more goals in a game.
Not only has Alabama received good production from its forwards on the wings and in the middle, but it has been playing well as a unit. Many of the chances created for Alabama have come off of solid pass into the box. Very few solo goals have been scored for the Crimson Tide.
Of the 21 goals scored for the team, 17 of them have come off of assists. Along with her goal-scoring production, Boswell has produced chances frequently for her team, assisting on five goals for the Crimson Tide. Sophomore Emma Welch has also been helpful in the attack picking up five assists on the season.
The team has also been able to control the shot count as a whole. Alabama has put 178 shots up in its games, with 81 of those being on target. To compare, its opponents have only scored six goals off of 103 shots- 42 of which were on target. The team averages 19.8 shots a game, while only giving up 11.4. The team’s defense has turned into quick offense, and Alabama has been able to control the ball for the majority of the game.
Alabama has also been able to produce relentless attack, which has led to corner kicks for the Crimson Tide. In nine games, Alabama has 54 corner kicks, meaning it has forced either defenders, or goalkeepers to knock the ball behind.