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Alabama Soccer Falls in SEC Opener to Ole Miss, 3-1

It was the same story but different night for the Crimson Tide, and, upon final whistle, its statistical advantages over the Rebels weren't reflected on the scoreboard.

Alabama soccer continues to struggle scoring goals, and its ability to create set-up chances only makes the shortcoming more glaring. 

The Crimson Tide traveled to Oxford to take on Ole Miss in its first SEC match of the season, but when the final whistle blew, its aforementioned leg-up on the Rebels wasn't reflected as such on the scoreboard.

Early on, though, it wasn't for lack of bright spots. 

"I liked how the game started. I thought we were in control and playing exactly how we wanted," Alabama coach Wes Hart said. "They got us on a counter attack, but we responded well and got the goal right back."

As has been the case in most of its game this fall, the losses and the wins, Alabama attempted more total shots and more shots on target, with the Crimson Tide tallying 12 shots to Ole Miss' seven and totaling seven on goal to the Rebels' four.

Tonight's match began with Ole Miss scoring first, as forward Mo O'Connor beat Tide keeper McKinley Crone to take a 1-0 advantage in the 10th minute. 

Via midfielder Kate Henderson, though, Alabama responded fairly quickly with a goal of its own in the 23rd minute. It was Henderson's third score through nine contests. 

"Then we stopped playing and stopped being aggressive," Hart said of the Crimson Tide after it equalized. "We kind of sat back after we scored our goal and allowed them to gain momentum and territory."

To follow was the Tide's obvious flaw, its inability to cash in its chances in front of goal. And subsequently, opponents often will when given enough tries. Ole Miss cashed in on with two more goals, each one prior to halftime by Rebels midfielders Haleigh Stackpole and Molly Martin.

"We have not shown to be good enough in the box," Hart said. "We've not capitalized on enough of our attacking opportunities, nor have we been stingy enough in our defending box."

Still, the 3-1 loss says anything except that, and that's the difficulty of the sport. Regardless, though, for a team that's now 4-5 on the season, there has to be changes either tactically or which lead to more clinical performances in the opposition's box.

Looking forward, Alabama returns home to play Utah Valley this Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. And, according to Hart, "Expectations have not changed."