TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama soccer had an uneven week of performances prior to its third match of the season. The Crimson Tide defeated Jacksonville State 4-0 then fell to No. 1 Florida State 4-0, and its Friday night matchup to Lamar was, ideally, meant to make its goal differential a net positive.
But it didn't begin that way, at least in the column that matters, the score of play.
After registering eight shots and two on goal to the Cardinals' zero, Alabama trailed Lamar 1-0 in the 24th minute once Cardinals forward Isela Ramirez slotted home a shot in the lower left corner past Crimson Tide keeper McKinley Crone.
One shot, one goal, and the Lamar lead to an Alabama group that had yet to sustain any clinical-ness in attack and in finishing its chances.
"Going into halftime, as coaches, we're a little bit frustrated we're in the situation we are, but I think we had a good game plan going into the second half," Alabama coach Wes Hart said. "We didn't change anything."
Hyperbolic in print, but not to those in attendance, the Crimson Tide attack lived in the Lamar half of the field all night, though its created chances weren't taken advantage of until the second half.
"For us, it's about trying to make it a game of territory," Hart said.
Possession and dictation of play were finally rewarded, unlike the Cardinals' lone goal on the counter, thanks to rhythmic build-up play led by defender Gessica Skorka, forwards Brooke Steere and Aislin Streicik, and midfielder Taylor Carter. All registered an assist.
Scoring the first and second goals of the match for the Crimson Tide was midfielder Kate Henderson, who beat Lamar goalkeeper Nicole Panis on consecutive attempts, once via cross from Carter on the left wing in the 34th minute and again with an assist from Streicek in the 62nd minute of action. Streicik was also credited with an assist on the play.
"It was the best feeling ever. I've been working on those kind of goals for the longest time, and I'm so glad they came," Henderson said. "We said, 'Let's be us, let's come out hard, and let's just say we put it all out on that field,' and we did that,"
She attempted four shots, all of which were on goal.
With the game in-hand, judging by the body language of Lamar players, Alabama scored its third and final goal of the game thanks to a shot by junior Allie Berk. Assisted by Steere, it flew past Panis during the 69th minute.
Alabama (2-1) had 26 total shots and 11 on goal, and Lamar (1-2) tallied four total shots with two on target.
The Crimson Tide's next game is Sunday at home to Southern Miss. Kickoff is 1 p.m. CT.