Sept. 27, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama juniors Pia Rijsdijk and Laura Lee Smith each scored a pair of goals to lift the Crimson Tide soccer team to an impressive 5-2 win over Vanderbilt on Friday night at the Alabama Soccer Complex.
Junior Theresa Diederich added a goal and assist on the night, as the Crimson Tide improved to 3-6 for the year and 1-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
Alabama's five goals were the most in an SEC game since defeating Auburn, 6-3, on Oct. 28, 2005. The Tide also scored more goals Friday night (5) than it had scored all season entering the game (4).
Alabama wasted no time jumping out to a lead, scoring three times in the first 18 minutes of the match. Rijsdijk, who led the team in points a year ago, scored her first goal of the year in the 7th minute. Smith scored on a header at the 13:21 mark, while Diederich scored the eventual game-winning goal on a volley from 20 yards out to give her team a three-goal cushion.
Vanderbilt (3-5-2, 0-2) cut the lead to 3-1 late in the first half, but the Crimson Tide countered when Rijsdijk scored just over a minute into the second half.
Vandy would cut the lead to 4-2 at the 67:13 mark, but Smith ended any hopes of a dramatic comeback with her second header goal of the night 42 seconds later (68:05) to result in the final score.
The Commodores outshot the Tide, 18-17, but Alabama had a 7-5 edge in shots on goal.
UA goalkeeper Emily Rusk not only had three saves, but also recorded her first career assist on Rijsdijk's second tally. Senior Molly Atherton, who was honored in a pregame ceremony, and sophomores Katie Bourgeois and Abby Lutzenkirchen were also credited with assists in the win.
UA is now 3-1 when playing at home this season.
The Crimson Tide will return to action on Sunday afternoon when it welcomes the Tennessee Volunteers to the Alabama Soccer Complex. The contest, which will kickoff at 1 p.m. CT, will be televised live on CSS and ESPN3.
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