KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Regardless of what sport it is, any athletic matchup between the Volunteers and the Alabama Crimson Tide is a game the athletes have an extra pep in their step for and one fans always pay attention to. Unfortunately, Thursday night’s women’s soccer matchup didn’t go in the favor of the Lady Vols, with No. 6 Alabama going over 4-2.
For about the first five minutes, both teams maintained solid defense against each other. The Lady Vols scored the opening goal of the match, with #11 Jordan Fusco scoring her fourth goal of the season after 6:17 in the first half. Unfortunately, the Crimson Tide scored three unanswered goals within twelve minutes of each other.
After Alabama’s first goal 13:50 in the first half, the field seemed tilted, as Tennessee remained on defense for almost the remainder of the half. With 9:14 remaining, the Lady Vols were able to capitalize on a penalty kick by #12 Claudia Dipasupil to close the half. Going into intermission, Alabama outshot Tennessee by a whopping 15-3 and led the Lady Vols 3-2.
The second half of the game was, sadly, not much different than the first. Alabama remained dominant on offense, scoring another goal to extend the lead 4-2, and put up another 14 shots, totaling to 29 for the evening. Tennessee was able to ramp up the offense by putting up six more shots, however it wasn’t enough to tie the game. As a result, the Lady Vols’ record adds another loss, making the team 5-3-1 overall and 1-1 within the SEC.
Towards the end of the game, the coaching staff between both teams began arguing, escalating to the point in which officials had to intervene and some of the Alabama coaching staff had to be held back.
“It’s a competitive game,” Tennessee head coach Joe Kirt said. “Both sides are emotionally invested. Sometimes that flares up a little bit.”
What’s Next for Lady Volunteers Soccer?
With their SEC schedule in full swing, the Lady Vols Soccer goes on the road next week, first stopping in Lexington to play the Kentucky Wildcats on September 25, then the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens on September 30. The Lady Vols will return to Regal Soccer Stadium on Thursday, October 6 against the Missouri Tigers, with kickoff at 7 p.m.