Aug. 20, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – First-year head coach Wes Hart and the Alabama soccer team will open the 2015 season on Friday, as the Crimson Tide travels to Memphis to square off against the Tigers at 7 p.m. CT inside the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The Tide will play its home opener on Sunday night when it welcomes Troy to the Alabama Soccer Complex for a 7 p.m. CT opening kick. The games will mark the first athletics events of the 2015-16 University of Alabama athletics season.
FOLLOW THE TIDE ONLINE
Fans can watch/follow this weekend’s matches via the below outlets:
Gametracker: Friday – GoTigersGo.com | Sunday – RollTide.com
Watch: Friday – GoTigersGo.com | Sunday – (SECN+)
Radio: Friday – N/A | Sunday 90.7 The Capstone WVUA-FM
THE OPENING KICK
The Crimson Tide is coming off of a 4-3 victory in its lone exhibition contest of the season last Thursday at Vanderbilt. Alabama outlasted Vanderbilt in a high-scoring affair, notching the game-winning goal off a Celia Jimenez penalty kick in the 80th minute.
Wes Hart was named the fourth head coach in the history of the women’s soccer program on April 9, joining the Crimson Tide from Florida State where he spent two seasons as an assistant coach, including the Seminoles’ first national championship season in 2014. In just two seasons at Florida State, Hart helped develop a balanced offensive attack that resulted in 407 points on 129 goals and 149 assists. The Seminoles won two back-to-back ACC championships, made two College Cup appearances and posted a national runner-up finish and a national title.
Hart’s new-look Crimson Tide squad welcomes ten new players in 2015, including eight freshman and two transfers. The young roster features 15 freshman/sophomores, while just eight upperclassmen (three seniors) round out the squad. The Tide returns all four of its regular starters on the defensive backline, along with starting goalkeeper Emily Rusk — a group that turned in nine shutouts a season ago.
The Tide’s starting lineup in Thursday’s exhibition game at Vanderbilt featured four of the ten new faces on this year’s squad including both transfers – sophomore Chatham DeProspo & junior Celia Jimenez – and two freshman – Elena Zang and Emma Welch.
All eight freshman saw significant action in Thursday’s exhibition contest.
SERIES HISTORY – MEMPHIS
Alabama and Memphis are set to square off for the ninth time in series history when the two teams open their seasons on Friday.
The Crimson Tide won the first meeting between the two schools back on September 2, 2006 by a final score of 2-0, but the Tigers have owned the upper hand in recent years, winning five consecutive matches dating back to 2009.
The Tigers defeated the Tide in the season opener a year ago, scoring a pair of second half goals to sneak past Alabama by a final score of 2-1 in Tuscaloosa. Alabama outshot Memphis 15-10, but never added to its one-goal lead after the break.
Memphis leads the all-time series 6-1-1.
SERIES HISTORY – TROY
Alabama and Troy will square off for the first time since 2005 when the Tide defeated the Trojans by a final score of 5-0 at the Alabama Soccer Complex in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide has won all three matches between the in-state foes dating back to 1997, outscoring the Trojans 20-0 over that span.
All three matches between the Tide and Trojans have been played at the Alabama Soccer Complex in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama has won four of its last five season openers dating back to the 2010 season, outscoring first-game opponents 15-6 over that span.
The Tide kicked off the 2014 season with a 5-1 victory over Kennesaw State in Tuscaloosa and won three consecutive season lid lifters from 2010-2012.
Alabama has gone 2-1-1 in its last four season openers on the road.
Following this weekend’s action, Alabama will play host to Wake Forest on Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. CT before traveling to Cookeville, Tenn. for a one-game stop against Tennessee Tech on Sunday, Aug. 30 also at 7 p.m. CT.
The opening week of September features the Crimson Tide’s longest road trip of the season as the Tide will head to the Northeast to square off against Harvard and Rhode Island. Alabama and Harvard will face off in Cambridge, Mass. on Friday, Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. CT ahead of Sunday’s 6 p.m. CT affair at Rhode Island.
Alabama opens its conference season when it returns to Tuscaloosa on Friday, Sept. 11 for a 7 p.m. CT match vs. LSU.
Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.