The Alabama women's soccer team lost its Final Four match in the NCAA College Cup 3-0 against the number one seed UCLA Bruins. The loss ends the best season in Alabama history with a 23-3-1 record and claiming its first SEC regular-season title, but falling short of the ultimate goal of winning a national championship. Losing in the final four of the NCAA College Cup is a huge accomplishment, as it was just last season the Crimson Tide women won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game.
Midway through the first half, the Crimson Tide's leading scorer, Riley Mattingly Parker, put one in the back of the net on a diving header, but the goal was taken off the board as she was ruled to be offside. The waved-off goal was the beginning of a tough night for Alabama. Just three minutes later, the Bruins broke the 0-0 tie with an easy tap-in from Gessica Skora off a cross from Quincy McMahon.
Alabama opened the second half down 0-1, but it didn't take long for the Bruins to blow the game open. In the 52nd minute, Quincy McMahon, with an assist already under her belt, scored on a deflected shot from the top of the box to extend the Bruins' lead to two. Just two minutes later, the blowout was complete as Madelyn Desiano beat Alabama goalkeeper McKinley Crone with a beautiful shot to the upper-right corner of the goal for a 3-0 lead which ultimately would be the final score.
Going into the match Friday, Alabama was ranked second nationally, averaging 2.92 goals per game but suffered a season-low 11 shots and its third shutout of the season. While Alabama goalkeeper McKinley Crone let in three goals from UCLA, she recorded eight saves, preventing the game from getting even more out of hand.
"Mack [Crone] saved some amazing saves tonight," Alabama left back Reyna Reyes said. "She kept us from getting ripped, honestly. Credit to UCLA, seriously. They know how to peak off that back shoulder and overload the back line. They've got some great players that can just provide through balls. But I thought that our defense did the best that they could."
With the win over Alabama, UCLA will face North Carolina in the national championship game Monday.
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