Soccer Returns Home for Two SEC Weekend Matches



Oct. 11, 2012

Match 15 |  Alabama (7-5-2, 2-4-2 SEC) vs. Mississippi State (7-7-1, 0-7-1 SEC)
Date Friday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m. CT
Location Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Alabama Soccer Stadium (1,500)
Tickets General Admission | Free
Television None
Radio WVUA 90.7 FM
Live Stats GameTracker
Game Notes Alabama Notes Get Acrobat ReaderMSU Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Video Stream TideTV
Series Record 10-4-3 | Last Meeting, UA 2 - MSU 2 | Sept. 30, 2011
Promotions Promotions Schedule
Match 16 |  Alabama (7-5-2, 2-4-2 SEC) vs. #14 Missouri (12-2-0, 7-1-0 SEC)
Date Sunday, Oct. 14, Noon
Location Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Alabama Soccer Stadium (1,500)
Tickets General Admission | Free
Television None
Radio WVUA 90.7 FM
Live Stats GameTracker
Game Notes Alabama Notes Get Acrobat ReaderMissouri Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Video Stream TideTV
Series Record First Meeting
Promotions Promotions Schedule

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama soccer team (7-5-2, 2-4-2 SEC) will return home to Tuscaloosa for two Southeastern Conference matches. On Friday, Oct. 12, Alabama will play Mississippi State (7-7-1, 0-7-1 SEC), with kickoff at 7 p.m.  UA will then go up against SEC newcomer and 14th ranked Missouri (12-2-0, 7-1-0 SEC) on Sunday, Oct. 14, at Noon  The weekend starts a four-match homestand for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama wrapped up a four-game conference road trip this weekend with a pair of losses to No. 5 Texas A&M and Arkansas. On Friday, the Crimson Tide traveled to College Station, Texas, to face the Aggies and were defeated, 5-0, in front of 2,039 fans. Alabama gave up goals on two long-range shots from A&M to begin the game, and watched as the Aggies converted a penalty kick for a 3-0 halftime lead. A&M scored twice in the second half on set pieces for the final margin. Alabama was outshot 11-10, with a 7-6 advantage for A&M in shots on goal, but the Aggies made the most of their chances.  Molly Atherton had three shots for UA, with two on target. On Sunday afternoon, Alabama was dealt a 3-1 loss to Arkansas. After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, freshman midfielder Merel Van Dongen converted a penalty kick to cut the deficit to 2-1, but Alabama could not complete the comeback, as Arkansas scored a late goal with under five minutes remaining for the final margin. It was the first weekend of the season in which the Crimson Tide did not record any points in the standings.

UA freshman Katie Bourgeois leads the Tide in scoring with 16 points on seven goals and two assists. Junior Molly Atherton and sophomore Pia Rijsdijk closely follow with 14 points each. Atherton has six goals and two assists while Rijsdijk sports five goals and four assists. Sophomore Theresa Diederich is also atop the stat sheet with 13 points on six goals and one assist.

The Bulldogs of Mississippi State enter this Friday’s match against Alabama with a 7-7-1 overall record and are 0-7-1 in the SEC. Since opening the season 7-0-1, the Bulldogs have lost seven consecutive games, all in conference play. In fact, since opening the season with a 7-0 record in nonconference play and outscoring their opposition, 19-3, including six straight shutouts, the Bulldogs have scored just two goals in SEC play and have been shutout in five consecutive games. MSU began a four-game road trip with a pair of losses to Auburn and Missouri this past weekend. On Friday night, the Bulldogs took on Auburn and went down to the Tigers, 2-0.  Goalkeeper Skylar Rosson made 12 saves. On Sunday, Mississippi State traveled to Columbia, Mo., for a shot at the 16th ranked Missouri Tigers, but could not come away with anything, as they fell 2-0. Rosson made another 10 saves for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State is led by junior forward Elisabeth Sullivan, who has 17 points on seven goals and three assists, in addition to putting 39 of her 65 shots on target. Freshman Honeye Heydari has 14 points on five goals and four assists. Rosson is leading the team in her redshirt senior season, as she has gone 7-6-1 in her 14 starts with 68 saves and a 1.29 goals against average. The Bulldogs are led by Neil Macdonald, who has gone 56-100-14 in his nine seasons in charge.

The Missouri Tigers enter Sunday’s match ranked 14th in the country with a 12-2 record overall and 7-1-0 mark in the SEC. This is Mizzou’s first season in the Southeastern Conference, as they moved over from the Big 12 this past summer, and the Tigers have not missed a beat. UM is coming off a weekend in which they recorded six key points on two wins, beating Kentucky and Mississippi State. On Friday night, the Tigers took down the Wildcats, 2-1, in overtime as junior Alyssa Diggs scored both goals. On Sunday, Mizzou took down Mississippi State, 2-0, behind a goal in each half. The Tigers are led by sophomore midfielder Abi Raymer, who has 14 points on six goals and two assists, senior forward Taiwo Adeshigbin, who has tallied 13 points on six goals and an assist, and Diggs, who has six for 12 points. Senior midfielder Haley Krentz leads the team with seven assists, with two goals added for 11 points on the year. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein has started all 14 games for the Tigers, giving up just nine goals with 53 saves and a 0.64 goals against average. The Tigers are led by head coach Bryan Blitz, who in his 17 seasons at Missouri has a 186-154-17 record.

Mississippi State: The two teams have met 17 times overall, with Alabama leading the series 10-4-3. Last year, the two teams tied, 2-2, as head coach Todd Bramble, goalkeeper Justine Bernier, and forward Janea Simpson missed the match due to red cards received in the Kentucky game the previous week. MSU scored three minutes into the game, but watched as UA equalized with a Kendall Khanna goal and then took the lead when Theresa Diederich buried a Pia Rijsdijk pass. The Bulldogs evened the score just 10 minutes before halftime, and the score stood through two overtimes. MSU has not defeated Alabama since 2007, when the Bulldogs posted a 3-1 win in Starkville. 

Missouri: This is the first ever meeting between the Tigers and the Crimson Tide.

Alabama has played a lot of minutes during this conference season, already playing in four overtime matches in eight league contests. In those overtime games, the Crimson Tide is 1-1-2, earning its first win in extra time against Kentucky. UA played in four total overtime matches last season and five in 2010. UA was 0-1-3 last year and 1-2-2 in 2010.

The Alabama soccer team, after playing well late in 2011 to surge into the NCAA Tournament, including home wins over Tennessee and Auburn, has seen a boom in attendance at the Alabama Soccer Stadium. Through five home games, Alabama has had three games that have seen top 10 attendance records, including a school-record crowd of 1,630 people against Maryland,  1,266 fans against Samford, good for third all-time, and 1,102 fans against Georgia, good for ninth all-time. The Crimson Tide is fifth in the Southeastern Conference in attendance, averaging 982 fans a game.

Through 14 games in 2012, Alabama has already scored 30 goals. In Todd Bramble’s five years in charge of the Crimson Tide, only his 2008 team (25 goals in 20 games) and the 2011 team (33 goals in 22 games) have scored more during his tenure. Alabama is averaging 2.14 goals per game, which is the highest in the Bramble era, and if the season ended today, would be the highest since the 2007 season, when the team averaged 1.80 goals per game. Before that mark, the previous time that UA had a season average of more than two goals per contest was the 2005 season, when the team averaged 2.75 goals per game.

Alabama is near the top of several categories in the Southeastern Conference. The Crimson Tide is third in total shots (265) through 14 games and second in shots per game (18.93). UA is fourth in total goals (30), as well as third in total points (88) and second in points per game (6.29). The 30 goals through 14 games are good for fourth in the conference for goals per game (2.14), as well as tied for second in assists (28) and tied for tops in assists per game (2.00).

Junior Molly Atherton is fifth in the conference in total shots, with 50 shots through 14 matches, and her 3.57 shots per game is good for third in the SEC. Freshman Katie Bourgeois is sixth in the SEC in points with 16, while teammates Pia Rijsdijk and Atherton are tied for eighth with 14 points. Bourgeois is fifth in points per game (1.14), while Rijsdijk and Atherton are ninth (1.00). Bourgeois is fourth in the SEC with seven goals, and her seven goals in 14 games (0.50) is tied for fifth. Atherton and Theresa Diederich’s six goals apiece are tied for seventh in the conference. Ariel Armijo’s 0.44 assists per game are fourth in the SEC.

Alabama dropped to 60th in the latest RPI rankings, a drop of 11 spots from last week, and will have played eight teams currently in the top 50 by the end of the season, with seven Southeastern Conference teams in the top 50.

The Crimson Tide enters the weekend with a 109-57-11 overall record in Tuscaloosa. Alabama posted a 7-3-1 mark in 2011. Alabama has only posted three losing seasons on its home pitch and posted a school record nine wins in 1996 and was a perfect 6-0 in 1995. The Tide has won five or more matches at home in a season on 16 occasions. UA is 3-2 in 2012.

Alabama put together one its better offensive seasons in recent years by scoring 33 goals last season. Most of the scoring came from underclassmen as five of the top six scorers were either freshmen or sophomores. With that young group the Tide returns 94 percent of its goals from a year ago. Theresa Diederich led the way with seven goals while Kendall Khanna and Pia Rijsdijk scored five goals apiece. In 2012 Alabama is off to another hot start offensively season, entering the weekend with 30 goals. Of the 30 goals, 21 have been scored by underclassmen.

WVUA-FM will expand its coverage of Alabama Soccer in the 2012 season, covering both home and away matches this season the station announced. This will mark the first time the student-run station has aired all matches since it first broadcast Crimson Tide soccer in 2003. Josh Zavadil will return behind the mic for his second season as the voice of UA soccer.

Alabama will stay at home for two more games, as they go up against SEC leader Florida on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m., and South Carolina on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m.