ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The Alabama soccer team defeated the Auburn Tigers in overtime, 2-1, in the First Round of the SEC Tournament. This is the first win against Auburn since 2011.
The Tide got on the board early in the eighth minute with leading scorer junior Casey Wertz finding the back of the net for the sixth time this season, assisted by junior Kaley Verpaele. The Auburn Tigers tied it up in the 30th minute with a goal by Jessie Gerow. The stalemate continued throughout the second half, leading the game into overtime.
Freshman Macy Clem scored the game-winner in the 97th minute, assisted by freshman Carlee Giammona.
From the Crimson Tide
Head Coach Wes Hart:
"Aside from about a 15-minute spell at the end of the first half, I thought we completely dominated this game. I loved the energy we started the game with. We were a bit unfortunate not to get another one early. Credit to Auburn though, they found a way to hang around. We will certainly enjoy this for a few hours, but we've got bigger things to accomplish while we are here."
"We've been in this position with Auburn before and the last time we played them, it just didn't go in our favor. There was a point in the beginning of the overtime where I was like 'I have a feeling we are going to win this game.' I hate penalty kicks and I know everyone else does so I knew we just had to get it done. We are ready to take on Vanderbilt and we have a lot of adrenaline going into that game."
"We've won a lot of games, but this one is definitely the most special and means the most to us, especially to Auburn. We've been in a lot of overtime this year and that's kind of where we thrive. They might have won the Iron Bowl in the regular season, but we won the Iron Bowl in the SEC Tournament."
Behind the Win
- The Tide outshot the Tigers, 22-13, with 12 on frame. Wertz, Giammona, and sophomore Riley Mattingly led the team with four shots each.
- The Tide earned four more corner kicks than Auburn (7-3).
- Freshman goalkeeper AJ Crooks collected five saves throughout the match. She extends her school record of most total wins, as well as conference wins, for a freshman goalkeeper in program history: six with five SEC victories.
- This is the second time in program history that Alabama has won a SEC First Round game to continue onto the quarterfinals. The last time was eight years ago in 2011, when the Tide won 1-0 vs. South Carolina. The team would later lose in the quarterfinals to Florida, 1-2.
The Crimson Tide will play the No. 2 seed Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. CT in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.