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Alabama Soccer 5-1 Over Rice


The Alabama soccer team scored five goals by five different players, all while only allowing Rice to find the net once, en route to a 5-1 victory on Sunday night at the Alabama Soccer Complex. This marks the third home game win in a row, improving the Tide to 3-2-1 for the season.

"They (Rice) gave us a great fight, but at the end of the day we outlasted them," head coach Wes Hart shared. "It was a very evenly-contested first half, then we finally wore them down in the second half. As the game wore on, we became stronger and more confident. We scored goals and with goals comes the confidence. This is one of the best attacking nights we have had."

The first 30 minutes was a feeling-out process that featured just one shot by Rice (2-2-1), which was harmless, and took little effort from UA sophomore goalkeeper Alex Plavin. Then in the 30th minute of the game, sophomore midfielder Kaley Verpaele found an opening to shoot. Her shot was saved by Rice goalkeeper Bella Killgore and bounced back in the field of play. Sophomore Taylor Morgan tallied her first of two assists of the game by touching the rebound to Verpaele for a goal. The rest of the first half remained scoreless.

It seemed as the though the second half started out the same as the first half, with few shot attempts. Redshirt freshman Gabby Duca started the action packed final 20 minutes of the second half off in the 70th minute with a goal off a double assist from Morgan and sophomore Gigi Schorr.

In the 77th minute, Alabama was presented with a free kick at the top of the box. Senior Abbie Boswell's strike was tipped off the crossbar by Killgore, but went right to the feet of junior Nealy Martin, who scored her first goal of the season when she deposited the ball in the back of the net.

Rice ended its scoreless drought in the 81st minute when senior Darcy Mickalow's cross cleared the head of Plavin and into the side netting to cut the score to 3-1. However, less than three minutes later, the Tide tallied its fourth goal of the game as sophomore Casey Wertz scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season. The last goal of the game came courtesy of a penalty kick from senior Christina Maartensson in the 87th minute, giving the Tide three goals in a nine-minute span to put the game out of reach.

The Tide, who outshot the Owls, 6-4, in the first half, ended the game with a 20-11 advantage in shots. Alabama doubled Rice's shots-on-goal total, as well, putting nine on target compared to Rice's four. The Tide also attempted seven corner kicks, four more than the Owls.






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