Soccer Beats Mercer, 3-0
Sept. 2, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama soccer team scored two early goals and cruised to a 3-0 victory over Mercer in a non-conference matchup Sunday afternoon in front of 350 fans at the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
With the win, Alabama goes to 5-0-0 on the season, while Mercer falls to 3-2-1. The perfect mark is the Crimson Tide's best start under head coach Todd Bramble and ties the school record for best start to a season.
"We really challenged our players to take this game seriously," Bramble said. "I thought that we did a lot of things really well today, though with a 3-0 game you can't complain too much."
Alabama got the scoring started early, as sophomore forward Theresa Diederich stole a Mercer pass at the top of the box and chipped it over goalkeeper Nikki Atkinson at the 5:46 mark. It was Diederich's fourth goal of the season, and fourth in as many games.
After forcing a turnover, Alabama moved the ball around the Mercer goal box until junior Molly Atherton and freshman Katie Bourgeois teamed up on the right flank to play a ball into a running Pia Rijsdijk, who took the pass and buried a shot to the back post. It was Rijsdijk's second goal of the year.
Rijsdijk wasn't done though, as Alabama was able to push another goal across in the second half. After maintaining possession and switching the attack down the right flank, Ariel Armijo was able to play a through ball into the box that Rijsdijk ran on to and tapped by the charging goalkeeper to put the Tide up 3-0.
Alabama outshot Mercer, 30-10, including seven shots on target to just three for Mercer. Junior goalkeeper Shelby Church earned her fourth shutout of the year, as she made three saves in just over 70 minutes of work.
Alabama returns to the pitch on Thursday, as they welcome Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse Maryland to the Alabama Soccer Stadium. First kick is set for 7 p.m.