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Pay The Man: Alabama Soccer is on the cusp of great things; it’s time to invest in this Staff.

Wes Hart can potentially build a national power if given the resources

2022 Division I Women’s Soccer Semifinals Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Friday evening in Cary, NC the Tide bowed out of the College Cup with a 3-0 loss to the UCLA Bruins. There was some much-complained of officiating, but it was clear that the Bruins were the more seasoned team and just better overall. There’s no shame in losing to a better team.

But for Alabama, it can be a learning experience — given this program trajectory, and this season of firsts, no one expects this to be Alabama’s last appearance in the Cup.

This year, in a 23-3-1 season, Alabama soccer nailed down an historic number of program firsts:

  • Its first-ever undefeated SEC season
  • a first-ever No. 1 ranking;
  • a first-ever SEC Championship;
  • the Tide’s first ever Regional hosting;
  • first ever SE Regional Coaching Staff of the year;
  • first ever MAC Hermann finalists — and Alabama had two make the list; and,
  • Alabama’s first-ever College Cup appearance.

Along the way, a trio of ‘Bama players earned All-American nods (two were first-teamers), where Alabama had only one All-American in its history before this season.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama soccer’s Reyna Reyes, Riley Mattingly Parker and Felicia Knox became the Crimson Tide’s first student-athletes named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America team, the organization announced Friday. Reyes and Parker earned First-Team All-America honors and Knox earned third-team honors for helping lead the Crimson Tide to a College Cup appearance in the midst of the program’s best-ever season.

The trio join Libby Probst who earned third team All-America honors in 2005 from TopDrawerSoccer as the Tide’s only All-American honorees in program history.

You can plainly see where this program is headed under Coach Wes Hart and this staff.

When he took over, Alabama was dead last in the SEC. And there it would stay after his first year. But, he began to slowly build the program, and improve the talent level. Along the way, he would bring Alabama first into competitiveness, then respectability, then national relevance. Last season, the Tide announced it had finally made it to the grownups table, as UA had its best season in 20 years. The chef’s kiss concluded with Alabama recording its first-ever NCAA tournament win.

Then 2022 arrived.

In short, a national championship assistant coach has shown that he is ready to take this program into national championship territory as the head man.

While the refrain for 2023 may be, “why not us,” the first one that Greg Byrne and the Alabama administration needs to hear is “pay the man.”

This is how you build a program, this is how you represent one as well. Coach Hart and his entire staff have put in the work, and have earned it.

Pay the man.

Congratulations to your 2022 SEC Champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

See you next Fall, ladies.

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