Alabama ties LSU 1-1By Ben Stansell | 09/22/2017 6:33am
Alabama soccer fell to the University of South Florida in overtime on Thursday, Aug. 24.
Even after a statistically dominant offensive performance, Alabama was unable to defeat LSU on Thursday night, drawing 1-1 with the Tigers after two overtime periods.
LSU jumped out to an early lead, scoring on a beautifully executed play in the sixth minute of action. The Tiger’s early goal proved to be a wakeup call for Alabama, as the Crimson Tide went on to carry out the team’s most impressive offensive outings of the season; except in the category that mattered most: goals.
After LSU’s quick score, Alabama cranked its offense up a notch, with wingers Celia Jimenez Delgado and Emma Welch leading the charge. Delgado and Welch continuously set their teammates up with quality goal scoring opportunities by utilizing the wide portions of the field to push the ball deep into LSU territory and kick crosses into the box.
“I enjoy the long ball. My team is very great at playing that one,” said Jimenez Delgado. “I love getting the ball to the end line, dribbling, and getting that cross and hopefully getting someone to score.”
Unfortunately for Alabama, converting its multitude of chances did not come easily against an LSU defense that simply refused to cave. The half concluded with the Tigers leading 1-0.
Alabama renewed and revamped its offensive attack immediately in the second half, aggressively attempting to bring the game to a tie. Midfielder Christina Maartensson did just that in the 50th minute of action, scoring the equalizing header on a cross from Emma Welch.
It was Maartensson’s first time finding the back of the net this season and it came at the time when Alabama needed it most.
“It felt good to be able to give something to the team,” said Maartensson.
Throughout the rest of the half, Alabama continued to create a bevy of scoring opportunities against LSU. The Crimson Tide defense, with anchor Kat Stratton in the goal, was able to stop the few scoring chances that LSU was able to generate. Despite a frantic last few minutes of regulation in which both teams got off shots, the game was forced into a sudden death overtime period. Neither team was able to score and the game continued into a second overtime portion. After another ten minutes of play, the game ended in a 1-1 deadlock.
Although he was frustrated with the result, coach Wes Hart was proud of his team’s performance.
“I thought the effort was fantastic. The quality was good, except for where we needed it most,” said Hart. “A lot of times it wasn’t just our quality. I think you’ve got to give them credit for their ability and willingness to block shots. We created a lot of opportunities, but at the end of the day it just wasn’t enough.”
Alabama will focus on securing its first SEC win of the season against the highly ranked Florida Gators on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Gainesville.