TUSCALOOSA The University of Alabama soccer team lost 2-0 to the University of Memphis at the UA Soccer Complex Sunday Afternoon.
“Memphis came in today ready to play,” head coach Don Staley said. “They are a very good team that had fresh legs (Memphis has not played a game since last Sunday) and were able to create some opportunities today.”
For the first time all season the Tide did not score the first goal of the game. Memphis was able to score in the 18th minute despite the Tide’s effort to defend the goal. After playing the ball into the box the Tigers’ Melissa Smith fired a shot that Alabama keeper Justine Bernier was able to stop with a diving save, deflecting the ball back into the field.
No sooner than Bernier could return to her feet, she was diving at another shoot headed for the back of the nets, this time it was Memphis’ Brittany Hance who was denied the goal by the diving Bernier. Again the ball played back into the box and the third shot in about 15 seconds was taken on goal and Melissa Smith found the back of the nets for a 1-0 Tiger lead.
“Justine made two big saves and we did not have anyone there to clear the ball out which simply cannot happen,” Staley added.
The Tide had an opportunity to tie the game in the 26th minute, junior Jessica Deegan was able to shoot past the Memphis keeper but was called for offsides.
Memphis was able to put their second goal on the board in the 62nd minute. Vendula Strnadova snuck a ball just inside the far post from about 12 yards out.
Today marks the first time that Alabama has been shut out all season.
Alabama will continue this homestand with a rare mid-week game Wednesday afternoon against Alabama State.