Alabama soccer came out shooting after halftime. The Crimson Tide scored four goals off 10 shots in the second half to defeat Rice, 5-1.
“I just think as the game wore on we just got stronger and more confident,” coach Wes Hart said. “Obviously, we scored goals and with goals comes the confidence. It was one of our best attacking nights we’ve had.”
The Crimson Tide shared the load offensively, since all four of its goals were finished by a different player. Its fourth goal of the match was an own goal by Rice.
It took 25 minutes in the second half for Alabama to find the back of the net, but it sent off an offensive explosion for the rest of the second half.
Sophomore Gigi Schorr found space between the Owls’ defense and flicked the ball to Gabby Duca for the goal. It was Duca’s first career goal.
Seven minutes later, Alabama found the back of the net again. Nealy Martin collected a rebound and put in her first career goal, basically sealing the game. Christina Maartinsson scored Alabama’s final goal off a penalty kick.
Overall, it was a physical game. Rice finished with 17 fouls and a yellow card on a player and one the bench, while Alabama finished with seven fouls.
“We knew Rice was coming in, and they weren’t just going to roll over for us,” Hart said. “We knew that it is a good team, a team who has been successful. It’s a team that wanted to come out here and win. They gave us a hell of a fight.”
Senior Elena Zang started in the backline since senior Kayla Mouton did not dress out because of a hip strain. Hart said that Mouton will most likely play in Alabama’s next game.
Zang left the game with cramps in the second half. Freshman Kat Rogers also went down, but midway through the first half with a left knee injury.
“We know, as you’ve seen now, we’ve got great options off the bench,” Hart said. “That’s the importance of that depth is that you don’t need to play someone that’s hobbled or injured.”
Alabama takes on South Alabama for its next game on September 6.