PROVO, Utah — A trio of first half Alabama goals proved too much to overcome for No. 6 BYU women’s soccer as the Cougars fell 3-2 to the Crimson Tide on Thursday night at South Field.
"Alabama came out, put pressure on us early and really flustered us a lot," said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. "Obviously we have to fix some things and change our mindset, but credit to Alabama because they came out and took it to us in the first half for sure."
The teams traded forays into each’s attacking third from the start. BYU’s Ellie Maughan found Rachel McCarthy open for the game’s first goal in a score that ricocheted off the left post and in, giving BYU the 1-0 advantage in the 11th minute.
The Crimson Tide came in and refused to go out as they responded with a 3-0 onslaught beginning in the 17th minute.
Alabama’s Riley Mattingly-Parker headed a shot into the bottom right with an assist from teammate Gessica Skorka, tying the game at one a-piece. In the 23rd minute, Alabama’s Felicia Knox converted a penalty kick to surpass the Cougars at 2-1. Just seconds later, the Alabama attack again sliced past the Cougar defense for a third goal.
BYU’s efforts to stem the tide fell short with unsuccessful shots from Jamie Shepherd and Erin Bailey at the end of the first half. Despite the Cougars chance to tie the game with a penalty kick in the 43rd minute, Alabama held its lead as Shepherd missed her shot.
Second half shots from Olivia Wade, Allie Fryer and Zoe Jacobs were also off-target. A Brecken Mozingo goal in the 84th minute infused the Cougars with new life late, though not sufficient to overcome an end of game keep-away campaign by Alabama.
BYU outshot Alabama 21-10 and 9-5 on goal. Alabama attempted five corner kicks to BYU’s three, while the Cougars committed 15 fouls to the Crimson Tide’s 12. Amongst these fouls came five yellow cards, three from Alabama and two from BYU. Alabama's seven saves for the game illustrated a stingy defense that held BYU at bay through numerous attacks.
McCarthy scored her first goal of the season on a night in which she recorded four shots with two on goal. Mozingo's second-half goal was also her first on the season, while Shepherd posted three shots on the night.
With the loss, BYU goes to 2-1-1 with 121 shots to six goals on the season. The loss to Alabama was the Cougars’ first contest giving up three or more goals since a 4-3 overtime loss at USC on February 15, 2021.
BYU continues its five-game homestand as it hosts CSUN on Saturday at 8 p.m. MDT. Tune-in to the Cougars’ matchup with the Matadors with a live stream on the BYUtv App or listen to live play-by-play on BYURadio.org/BYU Radio app/BYU Radio 107.9 FM.