Nine seconds proved to be the difference maker in Alabama’s 1-0 loss to Ole Miss.
With 28 seconds left in the first half, Madison Smith took the Ole Miss corner from the left side. Grace Johnson leaped and headed it back across the goal to Molly Martin, who in turn headed the ball into the back of the net with just nine seconds left in the first half.
Alabama had a handful of opportunities to score in the last 12 minutes of the game, but the Rebel defense found a way to stop every shot. The Crimson Tide put up nine shots in the final 12 minutes, with four coming in the 80th minute.
“At halftime, we talked about our mentality of let’s go down fighting, let’s go down attacking, and if we fail we fail trying,” coach Wes Hart said. “We had a number of quality looks. We committed a lot of numbers forward… We did everything we needed to do except find the back of the net.”
The most promising chance started with a shot by defender Abby Bivens. The shot was deflected off an Ole Miss defender and bounced to Kat Rogers on the left side of the net. Rogers put up a shot toward the middle of the goal but it was saved by keeper Marnie Merritt.
The save rebounded to Abbie Boswell, who fired a shot that was blocked by three Rebel defenders. She collected her miss and fired wide of the goal.
Overall, the Crimson Tide put up 17 shots, but only three were on goal.
In the first half, the Crimson Tide managed only four shots, none of which were close to finding the back of the goal.
“First half, I was most disappointed with our mentality,” Hart said. “I thought we just played too safe… We didn’t want to get behind them. We didn’t want to take players on. We didn’t want to put numbers forward.”
Alabama did manage to slow down CeCe Kizer, who is tied for the NCAA lead in goals scored. She managed to put up only two shots early in the second half.
The loss bookends the seven-game homestand for the Crimson Tide. Alabama (5-3-1) travels to Chicago to play Depaul on Sunday for its next game.