Sunday, September 29, 2002
» Box Score
SPARTANBURG, SC—The University of Alabama women’s soccer team (9-1) battled through a sluggish first half to earn its third consecutive shutout and seventh in nine games as they defeated the Wofford Terriers 3-0.
The Tide and the Terriers played a physical first half with a lot of up and down the field action with the two teams combining for 18 total fouls in what appeared to be a scoreless tie heading into halftime. Finally, nearly halfway through the first half Rebecca Baker broke away from a Wofford defender and delivered a pass to Dawn Nash who immediately sent a centering pass over the head of Terrier goalie Katie Menegaz that Libby Probst knocked in for her fifth goal of the season and a 1-0 Crimson Tide lead.
The Alabama defense held steady showing a “bend but don’t break attitude” around back-up keeper Laura Lowman, who was playing due to an injury to starting keeper Courtney Rogers. The Terriers mounted a few scoring opportunities but Lowman was there for three saves and junior Lauren Imwalle came up with a huge back save to keep Wofford scoreless.
“We came out sluggish in the first half and made some mental errors that we were lucky we didn’t get burned on,” said Alabama Head Coach Don Staley. “We went into halftime, made some adjustments and came out with relentless offensive pressure in the second half.”
Alabama immediately pressured Wofford in the second frame. Probst found herself fighting for the ball just outside the 18 yard line in the Wofford end of the field with Menegaz out of the box. Probst made a turn and got the shot off but Menegaz was able to recover in time for the save.
The Tide had another scoring opportunity in the 62nd minute when Kim Zarzour dribbled to the end line and centered a pass to Elizabeth Jannik who drilled a one-timer right at Menegaz who was there for the deflection.
Freshman Kylie Boyd finally found an open seem when Katie French sent a pass over the Wofford defense that Boyd ran down and put past the goalie for a 2-0 lead with 16:20 left in the match.
French went to work again 1:49 later when she dumped a centering pass in front of the goal that Katie Holtzapfel finished off for her fourth goal of the season and French’s second assist of the match.
“Wofford came out with a great game plan, but once again Missy Keller and the defense anchored this shutout and they would get the game ball,” said Staley.
The Crimson Tide, which is out to its best start in school history, will open its “second season” next Friday when the Tide heads to Athens, Georgia for its Southeastern Conference opener against the Georgia Bulldogs.