TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - No. 7 Alabama and No. 23 Georgia opened Southeastern Conference action Thursday with a 1-1 tie. With the tie, Alabama extends its home unbeaten streak to 25 games and remains undefeated on the season with a 5-0-4 record, while Georgia moves to 3-1-3.
Both teams found their goals in the opening 15 minutes of the game with Gianna Paul notching her sixth goal of the season. However, the deficit would be short-lived for the Bulldogs as Vernis slid the ball past a bevvy of Crimson Tide defenders for her second goal of the season. Vernis' goal was initiated by junior midfielder Aly Akers' third assist of the season, a pass set up by a deflected shot by Denigan.
From Head Coach Wes Hart
"Mixed feelings. I guess that's what a tie does. Not overly excited because I want to win but at the same time not too discouraged because we didn't lose. I thought there were some good moments. I thought in the second half we looked more dangerous. The first half we had more spells of possession but weren't as dangerous. I challenged the group at halftime to take more risks and be more courageous and make things happen, and we did that to an extent. We saw a couple more chances in the second half.
"We're still trying to figure out who we are. Last year's team played together for the entire '21 season and entire '22 season, and had combinations of players (that could play with each other) and had familiarity with each other. Here we are nine games into the season and we're still tinkering with the lineup and we're starting to learn who can play well together. Overall, pleased with where we're at. I don't think we're playing our best soccer, yet we're undefeated. Results over top-25 teams, a win over Memphis, draws against North Carolina and Georgia. So, all of that being said, not playing our best soccer but still getting results and still trying to figure out who we are as a group, so I'm extremely excited about that."
- A through ball from Felicia Knox to Paul led to a UA goal just four minutes into the action
- Knox played a ball through to Paul just outside the box as the sophomore forward took two touches and fired her shot into the lower left corner
- Georgia's Vernis scored the equalizer in the 15th minute, receiving a pass from Akers inside the box
- Alabama paced the game in shots, 13-7, including a dominant 6-2 tally in the second half
- Dylan Pixton made two saves in the game Paul has now scored in six of nine games and against all three of UA's top-25 opponents this season
- Alabama closes the non-conference schedule on Sunday, facing Mercer in a road game. The two teams will kick off on ESPN+ at 2 p.m. ET.
- Georgia returns home to close out non-conference play against San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. ET. Prior to the match, nine Bulldog seniors will be recognized in the annual Senior Day ceremony. The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+.