Soccer Blanks No. 24 Tennessee, 1-0
Oct. 20, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama soccer team put together one of its best performances of the season as it downed No. 24 Tennessee, 1-0, Friday night at the Alabama Soccer Stadium. With the win the Crimson Tide stays in the Southeastern Conference tournament hunt as it moves to 8-7-2 overall and 3-5-1 in league play.
"That was a complete performance tonight," Alabama head coach Todd Bramble said. "What we trained this week came through. They kept believing in themselves and a win like this was coming. It was our best game of the year."
Alabama was aggressive in the Tennessee defensive third early and it paid off. Freshman Pia Rijsdijk scored her fourth goal on the season on a near post blast in the 14th minute. The Lady Vols were unable to clear the ball in the box and the Netherlands native pounced on the opportunity to give the Tide the early lead and eventual game-winner.
Tide keeper Justine Bernier earned her sixth shutout of the season and extended her school record to 20 clean sheets on the strength of six saves.
Rijsdijk led all players with seven shots, putting four on goal. Chelsea Hatcher paced the Lady Vols with seven shots as well.
UT keeper Julie Eckel kept the Lady Vols in the match with some key saves, finishing with nine on the night.
The win over Tennessee was the first for Alabama since 1998. The victory also marked the second win over a ranked opponent this season which has never happened in program history.
Alabama will close out its weekend with a key matchup against Georgia. The two teams will clash on Sunday, Oct. 23, in Athens. The match will be televised on CSS at 2 p.m. ET., with Melissa Lee and Christa Mann calling the action from the Turner Soccer Stadium.