TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama soccer team scored early and often as it downed Kennesaw State, 7-1, Friday night at the Alabama Soccer Stadium. The Crimson Tide scored in the first minute of the contest and never looked back as it earned the season opening victory in convincing fashion.
“Tonight was a total team effort,” Alabama head coach Todd Bramble said. “We got a lot of goals and assists from a lot of different people. We really want to push the pace this year and I think that took a toll on Kennesaw State. This was a good way to start the season.”
The seven goals equals the most scored in a season opener for Alabama and are the most since the Tide downed Alabama State, 9-0, in 2007.
It only took 32 seconds for true freshman Laura Lee Smith to make her mark at the collegiate level, as her first career shot found the back of the net from five yards out on an Ashley Willis assist.
Junior Lindsey Sillers then gave the Tide a 2-0 advantage in the fourth minute when she slid her first tally of the season near post on a breakaway, set up by junior Josie Rix.
Alabama added a third in the 41st minute when Theresa Diederich recorded her first career goal on a header far post from five yards out, set up on a cross by sophomore Kendall Khanna. Junior Katie Woolbright set up the Khanna run on a pass down the right sideline.
The Tide was not done though as it recorded its fourth goal of the half, this time Khanna was on the scoring end, burying a one-on-one from 12 yards out on a through-ball by freshman Kara Fasano.
Alabama continued the offensive onslaught by scoring three more in the second half. Senior Shannon Lathrop scored in the 48th minute when she buried a cross from Khanna that was flicked on by freshman Pia Rijsdijk.
In the 55th minute, Diederich scored her second of the match when she chipped the KSU keeper from 30 yards out on a poor clearance by the Owl defense.
Fasano capped off the evening when she cleaned up a loose ball in the box for her first career goal. Fasno finished with three points in her collegiate debut.
Alabama senior keeper Justine Bernier allowed one goal and made three saves. Sophomore Shanna Brooks closed out the match by making one save in 23 minutes of action.
The Tide out-shot the Owls 26-10, firing off 13 in each half.
Alabama will head to Birmingham to face instate foe Samford for its first road match of the season. The two teams will meet on Sunday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m., at the Samford Soccer Stadium.
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