The University of Alabama handed Kennesaw State soccer its first loss of the season this past Thursday, but the Owls were able to bounce back, recording their sixth win of the season in Sunday’s matchup against UNC Asheville.
Alabama got off to a hot start on Thursday, scoring two goals in the first 16 minutes. Abbie Boswell scored in just the 2nd minute of the game and Taylor Morgan scored in the 16th. The Crimson Tide put a third goal past KSU at the beginning of the second half.
These were the first three goals of the season conceded by goalkeeper and ASUN defensive player of the week, Tiffany Sornpao. Sornpao had four shutouts in a row leading up to this game.
The Owls’ lone goal was by senior Abby Roth, recording her second goal of the season with just five minutes left in the game.
“I told our team at halftime that I thought we came out extremely flat,” said head coach Benji Walton in a post-game interview. “Alabama is a very good team, and I don’t want to take anything away from them, but we gave them way more space than we wanted to tonight and they make you pay when you do that.
“Good teams make you pay if you don’t come out ready at the sound of the bell,” Walton added. “That was the first time I saw us not ready to go.”
KSU was able to shake off its first loss of the season, getting back to its roots and defeating UNC Asheville. Ashtah Das and Jessica Sexton had a goal and an assist apiece to push the Owls to victory.
Das assisted Erin Harris for the opening goal of the game and then scored herself in the 62nd minute. Jessica Sexton scored the Owls’ third and final goal unassisted on a breakaway in the 70th minute to seal the victory.
Tiffany Sornpao recorded her fifth shutout in six games, making two saves in the process.
“The first half we had trouble getting a rhythm going, but it was good to get an early goal,” Walton said. “The last 35 minutes we started playing with the rhythm that I am accustomed to seeing every day in training. I am proud of the fight and this was a good home win for us.”
After a four-game stint at home, the Owls travel to Middle Tennessee on Friday, Sept. 15 where they will take on the Blue Raiders at 8 p.m.