Alabama’s first soccer win of the season last week was an offensive explosion. The Crimson Tide had to work for its second victory.
Alabama edged Virginia Tech on Thursday night at the Alabama Soccer Complex as the Crimson Tide defense turned the Hokies away in a 1-0 decision. It was the Hokies’ first loss of the season.
The combination of Brynn Martin, Nealy Martin, Kayla Mouton, and later Abby Bivens on the back line, frustrated the Hokie offense.
“At halftime (head coach) Wes (Hart) just talked to us about mentality and giving it our all pretty much,” Brynn Martin said. “We just wanted a shutout. We want a lot of shutouts this season, so that was our main goal. Just block as much (as possible) and stay laxed in the box. As much pressure as they were giving, we need to give it back on the defensive side.”
This is the second straight shutout for Alabama keeper Alex Plavin. She made five saves in the win.
The lone goal came in the 15th minute of the first half off the head of a Virginia Tech defender. The ball bounced out to midfielder Taylor Morgan, who in turn hit the ball toward the double-teamed Emma Welch, before finding the unlucky Hokie.
“Clearly, Virginia Tech is a tough team,” Hart said. “We knew it was going to be a low-scoring affair, and I’m just proud in our group to find a way to get a goal, whether that’s an own-goal, whether it’s a bicycle kick, or whether it’s a Kat Rogers 35-yard shot. They all count the same.”
While Alabama’s back line caused problems for Virginia Tech, the Crimson Tide offense was in the same situation. As a team, Alabama got off just six shots off and failed to score a goal.
“They were really good,” forward Casey Wertz said. “They were really physical, (and) very talented. Definitely harder than any opponent we’ve played to this far.”
Wertz said the offense tried to get space along the outside with Welch and Riley Mattingly.
Alabama (2-2-1) continues its six-game homestand with a matchup against Rice on Sunday.