Sept. 25, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama soccer team (6-2-0, 1-0-0 SEC) will continue its Southeastern Conference opening weekend at home as it will host Mississippi State (7-3-0, 0-1-0 SEC) on Sunday, Sept. 26, with kickoff slated for 1 p.m., at the Alabama Soccer Stadium. The Crimson Tide is coming off a 2-0 win over Mississippi, while the Bulldogs enter Tuscaloosa on the heels of a 3-1 loss at Auburn.
LAST TIME OUT
Alabama opened its conference portion of the schedule with an impressive 2-0 win over Mississippi on Friday. The win over the Rebels was the first for the Crimson Tide over its neighbors to the west since 2004. Seniors Brooke Rogers and Rosaly Petriello netted goals for Alabama while junior goalkeeper Justine Bernier recorded her second straight shutout on the strength of nine saves. Rogers scored just four minutes into the contest for her fifth tally of the year while Petriello buried the insurance goal with just over 10 minutes left in the match.
WHO TO WATCH
Alabama junior goalkeeper Justine Bernier has returned from Team Canada training camp in impressive fashion. Bernier has tallied back-to-back shutouts since her return and has led the Tide to two big wins. In her first game back, the junior recorded her second shutout of the season against a Texas Tech team that was receiving votes in the polls. In the SEC opener, Bernier tallied nine saves and posted her third clean sheet of the season to improve her 2010 record to 4-0 with a microscopic 0.25 goals against average. The junior enters Sunday's match riding a career best scoreless streak of 281 minutes.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
The Bulldogs enter Tuscaloosa with a 7-3 overall record and a 0-1 mark in league play. MSU opened SEC play with a 3-1 loss at Auburn. The Bulldogs entered that match winning six of their last seven. As a team, MSU has out-scored its opponents 19-15 and out-shot the opposition 171-156. Individually Rachel Wannek and Elisabeth Sullivan pace the Bulldogs with 11 points each. Both come into the match with four goals and three assists. In goal, Skylar Rosson has played the majority of the minutes, sporting a 5-2 record with three shutouts. Rosson holds an 1.14 goals against average and has added 36 saves in 630 minutes. The Bulldogs finished 8-9-2 overall in 2009 and posted an 1-8-2 ledger in league play. Head coach Neil Macdonald enters his seventh season on the bench in Starkville.
The two programs will be meeting for the 16th time as Alabama holds a 9-4-2 all-time advantage. The Crimson Tide has won the last two meetings by identical 1-0 scores. The Tide opened up league play last season with a 1-0 win in Starkville, on the strength of a Kelly King goal. The last time the two teams met in Tuscaloosa, the Tide earned a hard fought 1-0 win on an own goal. The Tide holds a 4-2-1 all-time advantage in games played in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama junior goalkeeper Justine Bernier is having a record breaking season for the Tide. The junior recorded her 12th career shutout with the win over Mississippi on Friday, moving her into a tie with Laura Lowman atop the Alabama career annals. Bernier is a perfect 4-0 on the season, with three of her wins coming by the way of a shutout. The Canadian international goalkeeper has tallied 23 saves and sports a 0.25 goals against average. Bernier tallied five shutouts as a freshman in 2007 and added four more last year as a redshirt sophomore.
Nearing the halfway mark of the 2010 campaign several members of the Crimson Tide are having career seasons. Senior Brooke Rogers has tallied five goals already this season, leading the team in that category and besting her previous season high of three. Fellow senior Rosaly Petriello is also putting together a career year, as the Canadian has tallied four goals, eclipsing her previous season best of three, set in 2007.
NEXT TIME OUT
Alabama will hit the road for the first time in conference play as it will head to Baton Rouge to face LSU. The Tide and Tigers will meet on Friday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. Alabama will then cap off the weekend in Fayetteville, Ark., with a Sunday match against the Razorbacks. The two teams will kick off at 1 p.m. on Oct. 3.