After a week off, the Golden Eagles (2-2-3) traveled to Tuscaloosa Sunday, dropping a hard-fought game 1-0 to the Crimson Tide.
It was the first time these teams have met since 2007. Three minutes into the game, Alabama threatened first with a shot on goal by Lacey Clarida, but was saved by Southern
Miss’ hot-handed goalie, Brittany Taylor.
Taylor, a junior, has been more than impressive this season. She ranks third in career saves (221) and second in career goals against average.
With 12 minutes remaining in the first half, both teams were playing physical and possessing the ball well, but neither able to put the ball in the back of the net. Ashton Stennis drilled a shot on goal within the final minutes of the first half, but missed wide left. USM desperately needed to fi nish their shots to keep pace with Alabama. The score remained 0-0 heading into halftime.
Alabama came out hot to start the second half, fi ring two back-to-back shots on goal from Christin Martensson and Hailey Brohaugh. USM’s Taylor held her own, saving them both. A Southern Miss foul led to a free penalty kick for the Crimson Tide.
Celia Jimenez stepped up for the kick, and Taylor came up with another clutch save for Southern Miss. Only a minute later, Alabama’s Brohaugh sailed a corner kick high and Clarida headed the ball in past Taylor for the first score of the game. That was also Clarida’s fi rst goal of the season.
The Golden Eagles had many opportunities to score in the second half. Within the final minute, USM’s Breann Hedin had a shot on goal, but was unable to capitalize. Taylor had nine saves on the evening while Alabama’s goalie had five.
Southern Miss will try to bounce back Friday when they travel to Monroe, Louisiana, taking on Louisiana-Monroe at 4 p.m.