Oct. 27, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. - The Alabama soccer team allowed a goal six minutes into the first overtime to fall in a heartbreaker, 2-1, at No. 23 Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon.
The Rebels scored the game-winner at the 96:40 mark off a corner kick from Erin Emerson that found the head of Rafaelle Souza. Souza's header hit the ground and bounced over the Alabama defense and into the back of the net. It marked her second goal of the match and league-leading 16th this season.
The goal spoiled a terrific game from Alabama goalkeeper Emily Rusk, who was named the Fox Sportssouth's Player of the Game in the nationally-televised match. Rusk entered the game ranked second in the SEC with an average of 4.93 saves per game and finished with 10 stops on the afternoon.
Ole Miss (13-4-2, 6-3-1) wasted no time getting on the board when Rafaelle Souza scored in the seventh minute off an assist from Olivia Harrison to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
However, the Crimson Tide (6-11, 4-6) held strong and finally broke through with just 35 seconds remaining before the half. The goal was set up when freshman defender Auburn Mercer slotted a pass from the midfield line onto the feet of junior Pia Rijsdijk. The Numansdorp, Netherlands native then took one touch and drilled a shot into the lower far post to pull Alabama even.
The goal was Rijsdijk's team-leading seventh of the season and she now has a team-best 18 points on the year. All seven of Rijsdijk's goals and three of her four assists have come in SEC play.
Neither team scored in the second half, although Ole Miss had a number of chances over the final 45 minutes. The Rebels outshot Alabama, 16-2, in the second half and 26-4 for the contest.
Alabama will play its final regular-season match when it hosts the Auburn Tigers on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. The contest will be played on Halloween night and will feature a Halloween costume contest as well as free hot dogs and drinks to the first 250 kids in attendance.
Thursday night’s contest will have major implications as the winner of the match will earn a spot at the 2013 SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala.
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