Alabama soccer dominates DePaul in season opener

By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown

One year after breaking program records, the Alabama soccer team kicked off its season Thursday night with a resiunding 2-0 victory over DePaul.

The Crimson Tide lost a lot of key players from last year’s historic team. Head coach Wes Hart brought in a couple transfers and is relying on other players to step up.

“We’re still learning and trying to figure out who we are, but I thought we saw some good moments,” Hart said.

The Crimson Tide dominated the Blue Demons for the majority of the night. While the game wasn’t the highest scoring match ever, Alabama’s offense had the ball for most of the evening. Controlling the tempo was a point of emphasis in the season opener after playing a couple exhibition matches earlier this summer.

“There were ebbs and flows of the game where we were keeping the ball and keeping possession, making simple passes, moving their team around, so that we could get better opportunities at net,” senior Itala Gemelli said. “I think we definitely worked on that and improved on that.”

The opportunities were there early. It took the Crimson Tide less than five minutes to get on the score board for the first time this season. Senior Tanna Sanchez-Carreto made a nice pass to sophomore Gianna Paul who kicked the ball right past the outstretched arms of the Blue Demons goalkeeper.

Alabama scored its second goal in the 43rd minute of the first half. Nadia Ramadan passed the ball to Isabel Smith which set up Gemelli’s first goal of her Alabama career. The senior beat three Blue Demon defenders and drilled one past the goalie. Gemelli transferred from Dayton where she played three seasons.

“It felt so good,” Gemelli said on scoring her first goal in a Crimson Tide uniform. “Different league, different state, different team… I was just so excited to get it in the back of the net.”

While Alabama didn’t score anymore goals the rest of the game, the offense had many opportunities. The Crimson Tide had a total of eight shots on goal compared to the Blue Demons’ one. Part of that is a credit to the Alabama defense, but a lot of it came from Alabama maintaining the possession for most of the game.

The Crimson Tide travels to Birmingham to play UAB on Sunday. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.

Categories: Alabama, College Sports, Sports