TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama soccer program is heading to the 2022 College Cup! The top-seeded Crimson Tide was able to fend off the No. 2 seed Duke Blue Devils
The Alabama soccer program is heading to the 2022 College Cup! The top-seeded Crimson Tide was able to fend off the No. 2 seed Duke Blue Devils in a 3-2 overtime victory Friday night in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal match at the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
Alabama (23-2-1) won its 20th straight home game in what was arguably one of the more exciting contests over the stretch. The Tide's Reyna Reyes
scored what would end up being the game-winner just under eight minutes into the first overtime as Alabama was able to keep the Blue Devils (15-5-3) off the scoreboard for the remainder of overtime to result in the victory.
The victory secured the program's first-ever trip to the College Cup.
From Head Coach Wes Hart
"A lot of firsts, right. First time we won a round of 32, and then a round of 16, and now a round of eight and now we're going to the round of four. There have been so many firsts this year and (I'm) just so incredibly proud of this team. Every coach out there feels like their team deserves it, but it couldn't happen to a better group of young women. They're a class act on and off the field, and they've been through so much over the last few years. I've said this many times, that this is not an overnight success story. We didn't just wake up one day and we were good. We put the work into it, and it is so awesome that we are being rewarded."
How It Happened
- In a game that did not have a goal through the first 67 minutes of play, a total of four goals, two by each team, were scored over the next 11-plus minutes to result in a frantic finish to regulation
- The stretch began with Gianna Paul's goal at the 67:11 mark when she played a deflection off the goalkeeper into the top netting to put the Tide up 1-0
- Exactly four minutes later, at the 71:11 mark, it was Ashlynn Serepca who found the back of the net to give Alabama a two-goal advantage
- Serepca's goal came off a double assist from Riley Tanner and Gessica Skorka as Serepca was on the receiving end and headed the ball past the Duke goalkeeper
- A little over four minutes later, Duke's Michelle Cooper scored the first of two goals when she found the back of the net at the 75:30 mark to cut lead in half, 2-1
- Just 3:20 later, Cooper struck again when she evened the game at 2-2
- In all, the four goals were scored from 67:11 through 78:50 – a span of 11 minutes and 39 seconds
- Reyna Reyes' goal came 7:44 into the first extra period when she gathered a loose ball and deposited it into the back of the net
- Alabama has now won 20 straight games at home, including finishing the 2022 season with a perfect 13-0 record at the Alabama Soccer Stadium
- UA had 62 percent of the game's possession compared to 38 percent by Duke for the contest
- The Tide dominated play, outshooting the Blue Devils 26-12 on the night including a 12-7 edge in shots on goal
- Alabama finished with a huge 15-2 advantage in corner kicks
- Alabama controlled 56 percent of possession in the opening half, outshooting the Blue Devils 9-3 which included a 4-2 edge on shots on goal
- Ashlynn Serepca notched her 10th goal of the season as both Paul and Reyes recorded their eighth goal
- McKinley Crone recorded five monstrous saves for the Tide as she recorded her 23rd win in net
- UA will play in the College Cup on Friday, Dec. 2, in Cary, N.C.
- The Tide's first round opponent and game time will be determined at a later date
- All matches will be broadcast on ESPNU