Tide Played Well Without Getting Wins

Coach Todd Bramble

The pain lingers for Todd Bramble.

The veteran coach can point to the statistics to show the progress the University of Alabama women’s soccer team made in his fifth season at the school. He also can talk about how the Crimson Tide elevated their level of play and possessed the ball longer and controlled the play in many of their matches.

Unfortunately, Bramble also knows those things ultimately don’t matter in a sport that is sometimes unkind and teams are unlucky and in a business that is results oriented.

That’s why the pain of an 8-9-2 season in which Alabama failed to qualify for the 10-team Southeastern Conference tournament hurts so much. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, especially not after a season that saw Alabama return to the NCAA tournament for the second time in the program’s history, and first since 1998.

Four years of building put the Crimson Tide in a position to capitalize on a “special” element to the 2011 season and to solidify its place as a rising power in the nation.

Now Bramble and his coaching are left to wonder what went wrong and to get the program back on track so it can regain its momentum. It’s difficult to think about that now, though, weeks after the last in a string of disheartening losses that ended what looked like a promising season.

“I am still filled with mixed emotions,” said Bramble, whose team lost to Auburn University 4-3 in overtime and was eliminated from SEC tournament contention.

“Some pieces of it we feel really good about, but that feeling doesn’t last long at all. It is a results-oriented business, and fr…
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