Oct. 25, 2013
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Alabama junior forward Pia Rijsdijk scored the game-winning goal and added a pair of assists to lead the Crimson Tide soccer team to a 3-1 win at Mississippi State on Friday night.
With the win, the Tide earns a crucial three points in the league and improves to 4-5 in Southeastern Conference play and 6-10 overall. The Bulldogs fall to 3-13 for the season and 0-9 in conference play.
Rijsdijk continues her stellar play as of late, as the Numansdorp, Netherlands native has now recorded six goals and four assists on the year. All six of her goals and three of her four assists have come over Alabama's last eight matches.
After a scoreless first half, the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead at the 54:10 mark on a goal by senior forward Elisabeth Sullivan. It was her league-leading 15th tally of the year, which also tied a school record.
However, the Crimson Tide would respond just three minutes later, at the 57:58 mark, when junior midfielder Theresa Diederich netted her third goal of the year. Rijsdijk set up the goal when she slotted a pass to Diederich, who was streaking down the right side of the box. The Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., native then settled the ball and deposited a shot into the far side to even the match.
Alabama continued to press forward and took the lead at the 60:46 mark, just over two minutes after tying the match, when Rijsdijk scored off a double assist from senior Molly Atherton and sophomore Katie Bourgeois.
Mississippi State came close to tying the match on a couple of occasions, but Rijsdijk set up senior Kendall Khanna when she slotted a ball through the Bulldog defense. Khanna took the ball in stride and ripped a shot into the right side of the net in the 85th minute, resulting in the final score.
Eleven of the Tide's 14 shots on the night came on frame, compared to five of 12 shots for the Bulldogs. Alabama also owned a 10-2 lead in corner kicks.
Alabama will continue Southeastern Conference play with its final true road match of the 2013 season when it travels to play at Ole Miss on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. That contest will be televised live on Fox SportsSouth and can also be seen on ESPN3.com
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