After Memphis came from behind to shock Alabama in their last game, it was clear the Crimson Tide rolled into Clarksville to make a statement.
They did just that on Friday, defeating the Lady Govs 5-0 at Morgan Brothers Field, with all five goals coming in the first half. APSU (1-2) kept their opponent at bay for much of the second half once the pace slowed, but the first 45 minutes was a one-sided period with Alabama attacking at will.
The Crimson Tide (2-1) scored four goals in a span of seven minutes after breaking through the APSU back line, with four different players finding the back of the net.
“In the first half we were exploited in a lot of different areas,” APSU head coach Kelley Guth said. “We definitely didn’t have composure about us.”
With less than a minute remaining until halftime, Pia Rijsdijk added Alabama’s fifth goal unassisted which put the Lady Govs in a sink or swim situation. They chose to swim, and were able to build attacking situations late in the game, which is a positive in Guth’s eyes.
“At halftime, we made some adjustments and changed our formation, and I thought our team did a spectacular job in the second half,” she said. “Unfortunately, you look at the scoreboard and see 5-0, but as far as the second half is concerned, I feel like we won the second half as far as the growth of our team.”
APSU knew coming in that the Crimson Tide would be a fast, physical team with more experience than a Lady Govs lineup featuring many new starters this season. Alabama finished with a shot advantage of 24-1, along with forcing APSU to commit 10 fouls in frustration. But the early portion of the schedule isn’t necessarily about winning as much as preparation. Consequences have to be taken against teams with more talent in order to develop for the future.
“They recognize it’s an opportunity for us to play against a team where the match-ups aren’t as equal,” Guth said. “I do think it’s a valuable opportunity for them to learn and they’re all going to walk away from tonight knowing that we executed a gameplan in the second half that was effective.”
The Lady Govs will be back in action at home on Monday, Sept 1 at 7 p.m., against Lipscomb.