By Zach Fidel
Special to The Tuscaloosa News
The Iron Bowl of soccer took place Tuesday night at The Alabama Soccer Complex. Auburn came out with the 4-2 win, to drop Alabama to 0-5 in the SEC.
Auburn has reigned over its in-state rivals, boasting a 16-7-2 record. In its last meeting, Auburn gutted out a 2-1 double-overtime win.
The Crimson Tide has displayed a strong defense this season with five shutouts. But against Auburn, the Crimson Tide defense wasn’t up to the task. The Tigers had two goals from their top scorer Kristen Dodson, one off a diving header late in the first half.
Crimson Tide sophomore defender Nealy Martin was suspended one game for receiving a red card against Texas A&M in their last game. This forced coach Wes Hart to move captain Celia Jimenez Delgado from midfielder to right back defender against Auburn.
“We certainly don’t want to make excuses because every team deals with injuries and suspensions,” Hart said. “I put Celia back there tonight just out of need. She could’ve helped us out tonight by pushing the ball up the field but she gave us the best chance in the back.”
Coming into the match, Alabama had been scoreless in its last three games. This season Hart has preached of taking shots early and often. During this slump, Alabama was getting its shots in. The problem was it was having trouble turning those shots into goals.
Alabama outshot Auburn 23-10, but could not capitalize and put just two goals in the back of the net. Junior forward Abbie Boswell netted both goals, one off a penalty kick after she was fouled hard inside the box, and the other off a 30-yard missile she sent to the upper right corner of the net.
“I was feeling like I needed a goal, like the team needed a goal,” Boswell said. “It’s been a while since we have scored so I just tried to give it 110 percent effort.”
Toward the end of the match things got a little heated between the two head coaches. Karen Hoppa, head coach for Auburn got into it with the referees after they awarded Alabama with a penalty kick late in the second half. Hart had to intervene to calm Hoppa down.
The Crimson Tide will look to get its first win in SEC play when it hosts Mississippi State on Sunday at 5 p.m.