Aug 29, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama soccer team will play the first home games the 2013-14 sports season with a pair of contests this weekend. The Crimson Tide will welcome Georgia State on Friday and Mercer on Sunday. Both contests will kick off at 7 p.m. CT at the Alabama Soccer Complex.
In addition to the viewing the game at the links to the right, fans can get all the latest information on the soccer program by following @AlabamaSoccer on twitter, instagram and facebook.
Friday, Aug. 30: Alabama vs. Georgia State 7 p.m. (Alabama Soccer Complex)
- FREE "Built-by-Bama" Sunglasses for the first 500 students
- First 200 Fans receive a FREE Chick-fil-a chicken Sandwich
- Kid's Day: First 200 Kids in Attendance receive a FREE Hot Dog & Drink
- Post-game Autographs by the team
Sunday, Sept. 1: Alabama vs. Mercer 7 p.m. (Alabama Soccer Complex)
- Big Al's Kids Club Night
- Movie Night: Postgame showing of "Finding Nemo" on the video board
Friday night's match marks the first home game of the 2013-14 Alabama sports season. Now entering the 23rd year of the soccer program, Crimson Tide boasts an all-time record of 18-4 when playing its first home game of the year, including a 4-1 mark under head coach Todd Bramble.
Alabama and Georgia State will meet for the second time in program history when the two teams square off on Friday night. The Crimson Tide took the only other meeting between the two schools, capturing a 2-0 victory back on Oct. 30, 1994.
Alabama and Mercer will meet for the eighth time in program history when the two teams square off on Sunday night. The Crimson Tide has never lost to the Bears, owning a 7-0-0 record in the all-time series, including a 3-0 win last season in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama head coach Todd Bramble will square off against his alma mater for a second consecutive season. Last year, Bramble led the Crimson Tide to a 3-0 victory over Mercer. The sixth year head coach graduated from Mercer in 1995 with a degree in business management.
Alabama returns nine starters and 12 letterwinners off last season's squad, which includes its top six goal-scorers from a year ago. In fact, the returning players combined to score 34 of the team's 37 goals and totaled 91 of the 109 total points in 2012.
Alabama is coming off a season-opening loss at then-No. 15 Wake Forest last week. It was the Tide's lone match of the season so far.
Alabama returns 12 letterwinners and nine starters from last year's team.
The team boasts only four seniors in 2013, while 15 members of the squad are either sophomores (5) or freshmen (10).
The Crimson Tide returns its top six scorers from last season in terms of points and goals scored. Highlighting the list of returning scorers is junior Pia Rijsdijk (7g, 6a/20 pts), sophomore Katie Bourgeois (8g, 3a/19 pts), senior Molly Atherton (6g, 4a/16 pts) and junior Theresa Diederich (7g, 1a/15 pts).
Other top scorers returning include sophomore Merel Van Dongen (3g, 3a/9 pts) and senior Kendal Khanna (1g, 5a/7 pts).
Alabama finished the 2012 season with a school record 357 total shots on the season. Furthermore, UA's 155 shots on goal (3rd), 1.95 goals per game average (7th) and 37 goals (9th) all rank among the top-10 in program lore.
SCOUTING FRIDAY'S OPPONENT: GEORGIA STATE
Georgia State comes into Friday's contest with an 0-0-1 record having tied Mercer, 2-2, in its lone contest of the 2013 campaign. Junior forwards Nikki Fedele and Whitney Ravan each recorded a goal and an assist in the contest.
Georgia State returns nine starters and 11 total letterwinners from a year ago. The Panthers welcome back its three top point scorers from a year ago. Ravan lead the team with 11 points (4 goals, 3 assists), while Jordan Young (3 goals, 1 assist) and Alyssia Feronti (2 goals, 3 assists) each recorded seven.
SCOUTING SUNDAY'S OPPONENT: MERCER
Mercer opened the 2013 season with a 1-0-1 record last weekend. The Bears ran through Alabama A&M, 10-0, last Friday and tied Georgia State on Sunday, 2-2.
The Bears, who are picked to finish third in the Atlantic Sun, are coming off a 2012 season in which they set a new program record with 13 wins and earned a spot in the A-Sun Tournament title game.
Mercer returns nine starters, including A-Sun All-Conference selections Tess Patton and Maggie Cropp from last season's 13-5-3 squad. The Bears welcome back 78 percent of its scoring from a year ago, including junior Lauren Gassie who led the squad with 19 points on six goals and seven assists.
CLOSING IN ON A SCHOOL RECORD
Senior Molly Atherton recorded two shots against Wake Forest and has now compiled 158 career shots. She needs only seven more shots to become the school's all-time leader in the category. The record of 164 career shots is currently held by Melissa McGee (1997-2000).
Her 61 shots in 2012 rank fifth in program history, while her 55 shots in 2011 is sixth.
Entering her senior season, Atherton has started all 59 contests of her collegiate career.