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Women’s College Soccer. What’s Next For Alabama In 2023 After Historic 2022 Season

Tide Reloading Due To Departures But By No Means Starting Over

Coach – Wes Hart – 9th season
Conference – Southeastern Conference
2022 Record – 23-3-1 overall, 10-0-0 in conference
2022 National Ranking – Number 4 United Soccer Coaches, Number 4 College Soccer News
Five Year Win Total
2022 – 23
2021 – 11
2020 – 7
2019 – 10
2018 – 8
Key Departures

Riley Mattingly Parker – Forward – 2022 NSCAA and College Soccer News All-American. 2022 MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist. 2022 SEC Forward of the Year. Set the Alabama record for single-season goals with 17 and points with 41. A four-year starter with 25 career goals and 13 career assists appearing in a total of 74 games with 62 starts for the Tide.

Riley Tanner – Forward – Appeared in 18 games in 2021 with 12 starts and 27 games in 2022 with 26 starts. Had eight goals over two seasons and 11 assists. Had five goals and eight assists during 2022 season. 2022 All-SEC Second Team selection.
Played for South Carolina in 2018, 2019 and 2020 before transferring to Alabama in 2021.

Ashlynn Serepca – Forward – A two-year starter who appeared in a total of 49 games with 48 starts over two seasons. Had 15 career goals and five career assists including ten goals and two assists in 2022. Had six game-winners in 2022 to set new Alabama record for game-winners in a single season. Played for three seasons at the University of Virginia before transferring to Alabama in 2021.

Reyna Reyes – Midfielder – A United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News All-American. 2022 MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist. 2022 SEC Defender of the Year. A three-time All-SEC First Team selection. A four-year starter with 79 appearances and 79 starts. Had 16 career goals and five career assists. Scored eight goals with one assist during 2022 season.

Kat Rogers – Midfielder – Appeared in 101 games with 45 starts over five seasons. Had nine career goals and 19 career assists. Contributed nine assists during 2022 season to rank third all-time in single seasons assists at Alabama.

McKinley Crone – Goalkeeper – Starting goalkeeper at Alabama for three seasons. Transferred to Alabama after two seasons as the starting netminder at Oklahoma. NCAA record holder for career goalkeeping minutes. Appeared in 66 games at Alabama with 64 starts. Had a 0.76 goals against average in 2022 and a 1.10 goals against average in three seasons at Alabama. Holds the Alabama record for single-season shutouts with 10 and single season wins with 23. Has 21 career shutouts at Alabama.
2023 Outlook

Alabama entered the 2022 season with everyone back from the 2021 team that had eleven wins including the program’s first ever win in the NCAA Tournament. Expectations where high entering the 2022 season but even the most die hard Tide fan had to be surprised with the 23 win 2022 campaign during which Alabama won its first ever SEC regular season title with a perfect 10-0-0 mark in conference play and advanced to the College Cup for the first time in program history.

The Tide’s calling card was an up-tempo pressure oriented style of play that created havoc for opponents and resulted in a prolific multi-dimensional attack that produced a total of 76 goals while a solid Bama defense held opponents to a 0.74 goals against average.

Senior All-American and 2022 SEC Midfielder of the Year Felicia Knox (7g, 20a), the team catalyst, and sophomore forward Gianna Paul (8g, 5a), the SEC 2022 Freshman of the Year with lightning speed, holding midfielder graduate student Macy Clem (5g, 1a), senior midfielder Kate Henderson (4g, 1a) and senior outside back Gessica Skorka (2g, 7a) are among returning players who will add punch to the attack in 2023. Transfer forward Itala Gemelli, a three-time Atlantic 10 First Team selection at Dayton, is among the newcomers who should add another dimension to the attack.

Alabama will again have an aggressive attack but it’s hard to imagine that they will be as productive and aggressive without forwards Riley Mattingly Parker (17g, 7a), Ashlynn Serepca (10g, 2a), and Riley Tanner (5g, 8a) and midfielders Reyna Reyes (8g, 1a) and Kat Rogers (2g, 9a).

On the other hand, the backline looks to be strong, deep, and experienced with the return of graduate student center back Sasha Pickard, a 2022 Second Team All-SEC selection and three-year starter with 78 appearances and 64 starts over the past four seasons, and senior outside back Gessica Skorka, a three-year starter with the ability to push forward and add numbers to the attack. Brooke Steere, a forward and 2022 SEC All-Freshman Team selection who moved to center back last year, has the ability to play in the back or up top. Graduate student Bella Scaturro, a starting defender in 2019, 2021 and 2022, who didn’t play last year and senior back Tanna Sanchez-Carreto, a starter in 2020 and 2021, who also didn’t play in 2022 return in 2023 to further strengthen the backline. Graduate student Marianna Annest (1g, 1a) who appeared in 18 games with two starts last year after transferring from Northwestern and talented sophomore Sydney Japic who appeared in 15 games with four starts in 2022 are among others who figure in the mix the back or in the midfield.

Graduate Student Dylan Pixton who competed in two contests last year returns in goal. Pixton transferred to Alabama last year after several seasons as the starter at Kennesaw State. Junior Hannah Alexander and sophomore Ellie Lanyi also return in goal along with freshman netminder Coralie Lallier.

A cohesive Alabama team was among the best in the country last year at generating pressure, a trait that played a key role in the level of success the Tide had last year. The extent to which the 2023 team is able to replicate that remains to be seen.

The DNA of the 2023 will be similar to the 2022 squad. A solid nucleus returns but the identity of the 2023 team, like almost all teams, will change somewhat due to personnel changes. Wes Hart will utilize a very competitive slate of early season non-conference opponents to sort out the tweaks that need to be made to maximize the strengths of the 2023 team before they begin the grind of SEC play.

The attack, which will still be good, lost too much talent to expect it to match the offensive productivity of the 2022 team. The Tide may experience a learning curve on the offensive side of the ball but the bottom line is that enough talent and continuity exists across the board for what should be another exciting and successful season in Tuscaloosa. Roll Tide.
Newcomers – Wes Hart stated, “We couldn’t be more excited about this 2023 class. We feel they have the talent and ability to impact Bama Soccer in a big way. They check a lot of the boxes we were looking for.”

Itala Gemelli – Forward – Rochester, Michigan – Notre Dame Preparatory – A transfer from Dayton where she was a three-year starter and First Team Atlantic 10 Conference First Team selection. Scored 33 goals and had eight assists over three seasons including 12 goals in 2022 with seven game-winners. A-10 Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2021.

Izzy Smith – Midfielder – Birmingham, Alabama – Mountain Brook High School – A transfer from Indiana where she appeared in 15 games with four starts in 2022. 2022 Gatorade Alabama Girls Soccer Player of the Year and All-State First Team selection and team captain at Mountain Brook High School.

Cali Brewer – Defender – Riverside, California – Academy of Innovation – Played for So Cal Blues ECNL. Participated in the 2022 ECNL National Selection Game in Phoenix, Arizona.

Taylor Esper – Midfielder – San Diego, California – Mission Bay High School – Played for City SC. Invited to the Youth National Team ID Center on six occasions. Named to the All-League CIF Sports Girls Soccer Team at Mission Bay High School.

Kennedy Garcia – Forward – Westampton, New Jersey – Rancocas Valley High School – Played for ECNL blue truckers. Named NJSSCA top-20 South Region and NJSSCA top-2- state. 2022 NJSA First Team selection.

Coralie Lallier – Goalkeeper – St-Hubert, Quebec, Canada – Le College Francais de Longueuil – Competed in both the U17 FIFA World Cup and U20 FIFA World Cup. Participated at the U17 Concacaf Championships in 2022.

Kierson McDonald – Defender – Birmingham, Alabama – Oak Mountain High School – Played for Alabama FC ECNL. Southeast All-Conference First Team selection playing for Alabama FC. All-Metro First Team and Metro Player of the Year. All-State First Team. 2023 Gatorade Alabama Girls Soccer Player of the Year at Oak Mountain High School.

Nadia Ramadan – Midfielder – Chicago, Illinois – Huntley High School – Played for Sockers FC Chicago. Team captain for U-17 Egyptian team in the Women’s World Cjup Qualifier against Nigeria. Has competed with the Egyptian National Team for four years.

Cameron Silva – Midfielder – Menteca, California – Manteca High School – Played for Mustang SC. Named All-Area Midfielder and All-Area Forward of the Year . Earned ECNL Second Team Northwest All-Conference. Participated in U.S. Youth National Team ID Camp n Phoenix, Arizona.
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Posted in 2023 Team Reviews

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