Alabama defeats No. 6 FSU, earns first top-10 win in program historyBy Ben Stansell | 08/27/2017 8:20pm
As the last few seconds of the game slowly ticked off the clock, every member of the Alabama team and coaching staff were on their feet, swelling with excitement over the prospect of a program-defining victory over No. 6 Florida State. Once the final buzzer sounded, the players rushed the pitch to embrace their teammates and celebrate the program’s first ever victory over a top-10 opponent.
For Alabama head coach Wes Hart, who is in his third season, the win over Florida State is both a milestone in the development of the program and a signal to the rest of the country that Alabama is ready to play with the best of the best.
“It’s huge for the program as a whole,” Hart stated. “I think for a little over two years as we’ve been building this program, we knew what we were capable of becoming and hopefully today showed that not only our program, our players, and our coaching staff, as well as recruits around the country, that Alabama can compete with anyone.”
The lone goal of the game was scored in the 55th minute by freshman midfielder Taylor Morgan. Morgan, who is referred to affectionately as “Yolo” by her teammates, put the ball in the back of the net after receiving a precise pass from freshman forward Casey Wertz. Morgan claims that her second goal of the season came as a direct result from her teammates support and Coach Hart’s offensive game plan.
“Wes has really taught us when to shoot and we set goals each game of how many shots to make and I think that’s really pushing me to shoot at times that I wouldn’t have shot before,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s attacking attitude spread throughout the team in the first half, as Alabama outshot Florida State nine to three. However, the second half saw Florida State become the more aggressive and ball-dominant team. The Seminoles outshot Alabama twelve to five in the second half, but could not convert on any of their chances.
Alabama’s first ever program victory over Florida State comes only a few days after they fell in heartbreaking fashion to the University of South Florida 2-1 in overtime. Coach Hart stated that the advice he gave the team after the USF game and the Florida State game was similar, even though the outcomes of the contests were markedly different.
“The big thing is that they can sulk and pout for a few hours, but when the sun comes up you have to focus on the next game and Florida State,” Hart said. “Same thing here. I want the team to enjoy this win and be excited, but tomorrow we forget about it and move on so we can focus on South Alabama.”
Alabama will travel to Mobile to take on South Alabama this Friday, September 1.