Skip to main content

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It couldn't be. Not two draws in a row, one at Texas A&M and one to Kentucky. Oh, but it could, because Alabama soccer was locked at one goal a piece with the Wildcats upon the full-time whistle went at 90 minutes Thursday night.

It'd take more than full time for the Crimson Tide to earn its fourth SEC win.

Then it happened so quickly, under two minutes into extra time to be precise, that everyone seemed stunned for a moment at the Alabama Soccer Stadium. When they all realized that Riley Tanner's drive and shot, assisted by midfielder Kat Rogers, stood, they couldn't help but celebrate the 2-1 overtime victory.

Tanner, in the third game-winning score of her Alabama career, cut inside from right to left before lacing the shot past Kentucky keeper Laura Nielson.

"Her ability to beat players one-v-one, get serves in, and the way she stresses out opponents' back line gives us a lot of confidence out there," Crimson Tide coach Wes Hart said.

With the victory the Crimson Tide notched its sixth straight win at home, and tied the program record for home wins during a single season with nine (1996). 

Nevertheless, Hart has been switching things up of late. 

Junior Reyna Reyes, who usually plays a central-to-right role, played the full match on the left side to help give a wavering attack more symmetry going forward. 

Read More

"Against Texas A&M we made that move, just mixing things up a little bit," Hart said. "We wanted to get Bella [Scaturro] at centerback, which is her more natural position, so that left the left back spot open."

Rogers, one of three players, along with goalkeeper McKinley Crone and midfielder Riley Mattingly, honored pregame during Senior Night festivities, also was featured in a different role. She essentially became a center forward.

Reyes replied to a Wildcats goal by forward Marissa Bosco in the 13th minute with a one of her own to equalize at 1-1 with 10 minutes to go in the first half. It was her third of the season, and on the assist were both Felicia Knox and Tanna Sanchez-Carreto. 

"When we use her in the back, we lose a little punch up top, but Reyna is so incredibly talented and important at either spot," Hart said. 

With rain arriving around halftime, the Crimson Tide jogged into its dressing room tied but leading in all statistical categories, particularly total shots and shots on goal with nearly double that of Kentucky. 

Not that that would tip the scales, at least in regulation. 

However, the match was thought to be all but wrapped up when midfielder Macy Clem scored the go-ahead goal in the 70th minute prior to an offsides ruling which disallowed it.

That just made room for free soccer, and both teams entered overtime, a sudden-death format, even at one goal a piece. 

"I think, for us, it's just a matter of cycling those players through and keeping them fresh," Hart said. "I think the morale is very good right now. There's just no substitute for getting the result."

With the win, Alabama moves to 9-7-1 overall and 4-3-1 in SEC play, while Kentucky dropped to 6-9-2 (0-8-0 SEC). The Crimson Tide's next match is Sunday at South Carolina with a noon CT kickoff.