“It was a battle on the road,” said Alabama Coach Todd Bramble. “I’m just really proud of the character the team showed tonight. It’s mentally and emotionally tough on a team to go on the road, be down a goal so late and then find the tying goal. They weren’t satisfied with the tie – a point on the road in this conference is good – but to go out in overtime for the win is huge. The players deserve a lot of credit.”
Alabama was relentless on offense, attacking the goal and putting pressure on the LSU keepers who were forced to make five saves on the night. The Crimson Tide produced 21 shots and earned 10 corners, eight of which came in the second half.
“We played some really good soccer tonight,” Bramble added. “We had good possession, and I think we got a lot of good territory out of that. We had eight corners in the second half, so all that attacking we were doing and running the set-pieces like we did, it all paid off.”
LSU struck first in the 11th minute when freshman Jorian Baucom scored her seventh goal of the season off a penalty kick. The Tigers took the early lead, 1-0.
Alabama would not sit idly, evening the score at 1-1 when Merel van Dongen blasted a free kick over the head of the LSU keeper at the 32:19 mark. The goal was van Dongen’s third of the season and her fourth point in her last three SEC road games.
The two squads went to half even at 1-1, but in the 58th minute, LSU was able to regain its lead at 2-1. Junior Natalia Gomez-Junco reached the back of the net thanks to a cross from sophomore Summer Clarke. The assist was Clarke’s fourth of the season and helped LSU regain the upper hand.
Even after falling behind twice, Alabama did not waver, applying consistent pressure as time ran down. The attacking mentality paid off in the 88th minute when a cross inwards from Theresa Diederich was headed by Lacey Clarida directly into the post, however Clarida was able to keep her composure and score the equalizer off the rebound to set the score at 2-2 and force an eventual overtime.
In extra time, the Tide struck quickly and effectively at the 93:21 mark. Alabama weaved the ball through traffic, with Abby Lutzenkirchen rolling a quick touch to Maruschka Waldus who found a streaking Theresa Diederich for the game-winner. The goal was Diederich’s fifth of the season and her team-leading 14th point of 2014.
“For us to come down here and get a win in overtime, it’s just a continuation of a really tough series that we’ve got going with LSU right now,” said Bramble. “I have a lot of respect for their program and their coaching staff. They’re a good team and they’ve got some really talented attacking players. We’re really happy getting out of Baton Rouge with a win tonight.”
Alabama sits at 8-4-2, with a 3-2-1 SEC record, including a 4-0-1 record away from Tuscaloosa. The Tide also maintains the clean record in extra time, now sitting at 2-0-2 on the season, including a 2-0 mark in SEC road games. LSU falls to 5-8-2 and 1-4-1 in the SEC.
Alabama will have 10 days before its next contest on Friday, Oct. 17, in Tuscaloosa against Arkansas. The Tide will then travel to Columbia for a 1 p.m. game against Missouri on Sunday, Oct. 19. Both games will air on SECN+.