Nov. 4, 2011
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The Alabama soccer team saw its run at the Southeastern Conference Tournament come to an end as it fell to No. 23 ranked Florida, 2-1, Friday night at the Orange Beach Sportsplex. After the loss the Crimson Tide moves to 10-8-3 on the season.
"It was a good game," Alabama head coach Todd Bramble said. "Florida is a great team and I'm just proud of how our team battled tonight. It was a very even first half and I think they took the game over a little bit in the second half, but once they got the goal, I was proud of how we fought back. We tried to manufacture a couple of chances at the end to tie it up again."
After the two teams played even for 80 minutes, the No. 4 seeded Gators (16-6-0) scored in the 81st minute on a Lindsay Thompson goal to take the 2-1 lead. The goal proved to be the decisive blow as the Tide went on the offensive in the final minutes but could not crack the Gator defense.
Alabama scored the first goal of the match on a hard earned corner that was set up by junior defender Ashley Willis. In the 33rd minute, freshman forward Pia Rijsdijk buried a Janea Simpson pass that was created on a pass into the box from Willis.
Rijsdijk, with her back to goal, made a quick turn from seven yards out and found net far post off a quick one-touch pass from Simpson. The goal was her fifth on the season.
The lead did not last long though as 40 seconds later Erika Tymrak broke through the Alabama defense and buried a close look from seven yards out.
Florida outshot Alabama, 19-7, with Tymrak leading all players with five shots. Theresa Diederich paced the Tide with two attempts. Senior Justine Bernier capped off the night with a game-high eight saves.
The semifinal appearance at the SEC tournament was just the third in program history. The 10 wins are the most for Alabama since 2004. UA has finished .500 or better in three of the four seasons under Bramble.
At 10-8-3 the Crimson Tide will be looking to earn its first berth into the NCAA tournament since 1998. Alabama has earned quality wins over South Carolina, Auburn, Tennessee, and San Diego State. The NCAA Division I Women's Soccer selection show will air live on NCAA.com at 3:30 p.m. CT, on Monday, Nov 7.