No. 22 Aztecs Unlucky vs. Alabama, Drop 1-0 Decision
WSOC: No. 22 Aztecs unlucky vs. Alabama, lose 1-0
Sept. 4, 2011
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State was slow out of the gates, but recorded the first goal-scoring opportunity of the game in the 12th minute when Cat Walker blasted a shot which required a leaping save by Alabama goalkeeper Justine Bernier.
The Aztecs were awarded a corner kick as Bernier steered Walker's shot up and over the net. On the ensuing play, SDSU turned the ball over near the center line and the Crimson Tide began its counter attack. Laura Lee Smith led the two-on-one break and passed it to Kendall Khanna, who put her shot past the on-rushing San Diego State keeper Rachel Boaz. The 13th-minute goal was Khanna's second of the year.
Now trailing 1-0, the Aztecs began to create more opportunities for themselves the first of which came in the 17th minute when Jensen Skinner attempted a shot from the right. But with Bernier out of the picture, Skinner's effort was saved by a Crimson Tide field player. Then off rebound, Walker gathered the ball and her shot was blocked by a sliding Alabama player.
In the 28th minute, San Diego State just missed tying the score when Tiffany Hurst's shot deflected off the crossbar. The rebound was controlled by the Aztecs and Megan Jurado took a chance at leveling the score, but her shot was saved by Bernier.
With the half coming to a close, Alabama's Theresa Diederich attempted the Crimson Tide's third shot of the game in the 41st minute. The midfielder came in from the side to make a sliding kick out in front of the net, but Boaz easily denied her to preserve the Aztecs' one-goal deficit.
San Diego State continued to pepper Bernier with shots after halftime starting with Jurado in the 51st minute. The San Jose, Calif., native made a handful of nifty moves to get a clear look at the cage, but her shot from the left was stopped by the Alabama keeper.
The Aztecs had another quality sequence 11 minutes later, which was started by a Walker shot that was blocked. Haley Locker then headed the ball that went wide right with the Aztecs earning a corner kick just moments later. The corner resulted in Jurado having another chance, but her shot sailed high.
Walker had SDSU's next two chances to match the Crimson Tide's 1 on the scoreboard beginning in the 71st minute, but the attempt was wide left. Seven minutes later, the senior put a dangerous header on goal, but Bernier was there to deny the Aztecs again.
With just under 11 minutes left in regulation, Jurado sent in a ball that found Hannah Keane. The freshman's header, however, was off the mark and to the right.
Jurado found herself in the thick of things late, but, unfortunately, could not convert. The forward was streaking down the left side, beat her defender, and had her shot skip past Bernier and through the box before missing wide right. Then just 40 seconds later, she challenged the Crimson Tide goalkeeper and was stopped.
Despite the run of unlucky sequences, the Aztecs did not stop attacking as time ticked off the clock. In the 85th minute, Walker tried tying the score once again, but a diving save prevented that from happening.
With just over two minutes to go in regulation, San Diego State kept coming and Hurst found herself with a clear look. But like she had all day, Bernier turned the Aztecs away once again, making a save on Hurst's second shot of the afternoon.
Walker had one last chance to force overtime with 1 minute, 31 seconds remaining, but her shot was high as Alabama escaped with the victory.
The Aztecs outshot the Crimson Tide, 21-3, and prevented the visitors from taking a shot in the final 49 minutes, 10 seconds. SDSU also held an 8-2 advantage in shots on goal and had eight corner kicks to Alabama's zero.
Bernier finished with a game-high seven saves, while Boaz had one for San Diego State.
The Scarlet and Black return to the pitch on Friday, Sept. 9, when Columbia visits SDSU Sports Deck. Game time is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. PT and admission is free.