Alabama Soccer Upsets No. 6/4 FSU for First Win over Top-10 Ranked Opponent in Program History
The Alabama women’s soccer team earned its first win over a Top-10 ranked opponent in program history with a 1-0 shutout victory over No. 6/4 Florida State on Sunday afternoon at the Alabama Soccer Complex. Taylor Morgan scored her second career goal in the 55th minute of the match to propel the Crimson Tide (3-1) to the crucial win over the Seminoles (3-1,) and senior goalkeeper Kat Stratton made four saves to earn her first shutout of the season.
The victory marks the first time that Alabama has defeated Florida State in the series between the two programs and is the second win for the Tide over an ACC opponent in school history. It is also the first top-10 victory of the Wes Hart era and the first win over his former school after serving as a Florida State assistant coach before joining the Tide.
"What an incredible win for the program," head coach Wes Hart said. "For two and a half years, I guess, we've kind of been building for a game like this. To finally break out and get a victory like this says a lot about our program and our team. The players who we have here have just kept getting better and better, and I think the future is incredibly bright here in Tuscaloosa."
In the 55th minute, the Tide finally broke the tie, scoring at the top of the box for the 1-0 lead. Casey Wertz charged down the wing and found Morgan open at the top of the box. Morgan rocketed the ball through the keeper's hands for the goal.
The first half saw the Tide record nine shots and hold the Noles to three shots thanks to a spectacular performance in net by Kat Stratton, who registered one diving save.
"It's hard to pick out any one moment or individual because everyone played just so incredibly well and did their job," Hart said.
Alabama pressured the FSU defense early launching two quick shots in the first three minutes of play and followed with a close shot on goal ten minutes later. Alabama charged down the field and Chatham DeProspo set up a great ball to open up a scoring lane for the Tide but FSU’s keeper made a diving save to keep the Tide off the board. UA had another scoring opportunity in the 21st minute with a corner kick, but Kaley Verpaele missed the shot just wide.
Then with five minutes left on the clock, Kayla Mouton made a defensive save, stopping the Seminole shot attempt a foot away from the goal line to keep the game at 0-0. With three minutes left, Emma Welch and DeProspo fired three shots on goal but the Noles keeper rejected two attempts and the third went wide to end the half with no scores on the board.
In the second, Celia Jimenez Delgado opened with a shot on goal. The Seminoles responded with four of their own, but Alabama's defense once again kept them off the board. Florida State outshot the Tide 12-5 in the second half, but was only able to put three attempts on frame.
With seven minutes left, Taylor Morgan attacked again and slipped the ball past the keeper but FSU made a defensive save of its own to stop the ball short of the goal line. As the clock wound down, the Seminoles recorded two final shot attempts and were setting up for a last-second corner kick when the final horn sounded.
In the tightly contested match, Florida State edged Alabama in shots, 15-14, but the Tide earned three corner kicks to the Seminoles two.
Alabama returns to the pitch on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. CT to take on the South Alabama Jaguars in Mobile, Ala.