Slow start dooms Alabama soccer against Ole MissBy Matthew Speakman | 10/06/2016 11:05pm
Junior midfielder, Chatham DeProspo has six goals on the season so far.
CW / Jake Stevens
When Alabama kicked off against Ole Miss, coach Wes Hart could see that his team was not in the right mindset. He could tell something was off about the team as the Crimson Tide was not playing with its usual aggressiveness.
That slow start, according to Hart, was the key in Alabama’s 2-1 loss to Ole Miss Thursday night.
“It didn’t look like we had any interest in going to goal in the first half,” Hart said.
Alabama came out sluggish, not registering a shot until 26 minutes into the game. The Crimson Tide managed to keep possession and move the ball around, but failed to create many offensive chances in the first half.
For Alabama, the slow start on the offensive side saw them fall behind 1-0 in the first half.
“It seemed like, in the first half, we were content with just trying to keeping possession,” Hart said. “We forgot that the objective at the end of the day is to go out and score goals.”
Going into halftime, Hart’s talk with the team centered around one thing: attacking the net. Alabama managed to shoot the ball four times in the first half, but not many of those shots really threatened the Rebels.
Counter-acting the slow start for the Crimson Tide proved to be the big point in the early moments of the second half, as Alabama started to press forward, looking for an equalizer. Alabama finally broke through fifteen minutes into the period, as Maddy Anzlec netted her first goal of the season.
“We came out with more energy and more life in the second half,” Hart said. “But, this league is too tough to play just a good half of soccer and expect to win.”
Even after battling back with more aggression in the second half, the team would ultimately give up another goal, falling behind 2-1 in the second half. Even after conceding that goal, Alabama continued to push forward, but its attack fell short as the Rebels picked up a win on the road.
Even though the team managed to improve its play in the second half, the Crimson Tide’s slow start hurt them as it played catch up for most of the game. Hart said he was pleased the way the team responded after falling behind for a second time.
“They didn’t quit,” Hart said. ‘We created chances, I think we hit the bar at the end and had a good cross. We had some chances, but it all goes back to the start of the game and the first half. That is where we lost that game.”
With the loss, Alabama loses its second straight game to a Southeastern Conference opponent, and falls to 7-5-1 (2-3-1 in SEC play) on the season.
Alabama will have a chance to break the two-game losing streak when the team travels to Missouri to take on the Tigers at 1 p.m. on Sunday.