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Owls Competitive in 1-0 Loss to Alabama

Article Written by Libby Knight
Published: August 21, 2012
<p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>KENNESAW, Ga. &ndash;</strong> The Kennesaw State soccer team had a strong season opener, falling to Southeastern Conference member Alabama in a close 1-0 decision before a record crowd at KSU Stadium on Friday night.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">&ldquo;In the first game of a season we wanted to make sure we were organized,&rdquo; said Head Coach Rob King. &ldquo;I think we were organized, played well as team and defended well. We had to defend solidly for 90 minutes.&nbsp; We had one little breakdown and they scored off it.&nbsp; Overall, I&rsquo;m very pleased with the first game.&nbsp; I think you&rsquo;ll see us a little more offensive in the next one.&rdquo;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">An enthusiastic crowd of 1,821 fans came out to show support in the Owls&rsquo; season opener.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">The Owls (0-1-0) bent but did not break in the first half against the Crimson Tide (1-0-0), even as redshirt-freshman forward Chelsea O&rsquo;Callaghan (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington East Girls&rsquo; College) suffered an injury just 15 minutes in the match. Senior goalkeeper Lauren Roberts (Rome, Ga./Marshall) and the KSU defense allowed 12 shots, but did not concede a goal in the first 45 minutes of play.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">Katie Bourgeois broke the scoreless tie in the 56th minute as a deep Alabama throw-in found Kaitlyn Smith, who then tapped the ball to Bourgeois.&nbsp; Bourgeois one-touched the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">As the match wore down, the intensity from the players ramped up.&nbsp; Redshirt-sophomore forward Katrina Frost (Fayetteville, Ga./South Carolina) and Alabama&rsquo;s Theresa Diederich earned yellow cards on different plays down the stretch, while senior defender Lexi Hastings (Ontario, Canada/Lassiter) was issued a red card in the final minutes of the contest and will not be available for the Owls on Sunday.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">Alabama outshot the Owls 19 to 4, with nine shots on frame.&nbsp; Pia Rijsdijk led the way for the Crimson Tide with four shots, including one on goal.&nbsp; Frost notched two shots and had KSU&rsquo;s lone shot on goal.&nbsp; Sophomore forward Iyani Hughes (Chelsea, Ala./Chelsea) and redshirt-sophomore midfielder Alma Gardarsdottir (Grindavik, Iceland/Fjolbrautaskoli Sudurnesja) added a shot each.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">The Crimson Tide earned eight corner kicks on the night, while not giving up any to Kennesaw State.&nbsp; Roberts tallied seven saves in 90 minutes of work, while Alabam&rsquo;s Shelby Church collected one save in the match.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">Kennesaw State continues its opening weekend of play on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET as the Owls take on Alabama A&amp;M at KSU Stadium.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">Keep up with Owls soccer this year by following KSU on Twitter at @KSUOwlNation and @ksuOWLSsoccer, or by liking Kennesaw State Owls on Facebook.</span></p>
 
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