Aug. 19, 2006
KENNESAW, Ga. - With a match-up against Texas to open the season on the horizon, the Auburn soccer team traveled to Kennesaw State and came away with a 4-2 victory over the KSU Owls on Saturday night at the Kennesaw State Soccer Complex.
"For 12 of our girls, it's their first-ever Division I soccer game and for us it was great to play a game that doesn't count on our record and gives us an opportunity to learn," AU Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "I was really proud to see the character of the team as we took a lead, lost it, came back and then kept on coming until we were able to get the final result."
After finding themselves tied at 1-1 at the half, the Tigers turned up the offensive heat and pulled away from the Owls with three second half goals and a solid defensive performance as Auburn allowed just three shots on goal over the final 45 minutes of play.
Jenny Zarzour scored AU's first goal of the second half just over five minutes into the frame as she took a pass from Gabi Rivera and slipped it past KSU keeper Staci Pugh. The Owls answered under four minutes later with a Pip Meo header to knot the score at 2-2, only to see the Auburn offense respond with two more goals.
Kristin Stewart broke open the tie when she took a pass from Zarzour and drilled it into the lower-left corner from just above the penalty box at the 65:30 mark. Kori Hoelscher than iced the game when her shot from 35-yards out found the upper-left corner.
Both squads lit up the scoreboard in the first half with Auburn striking first as Jenn Johnson lofted a pass over the midfield to a streaking Kara Kasten, who broke away from the Owls defense and drew the KSU keeper out of the box. Kasten then struck the ball to the lower left of a wide open net to put the Tigers up, 1-0, just over 16-and-a-half minutes into the game.
KSU struck back seven minutes later as Laura Tucker took a cross from teammate Whitney Marler and found an open lane to slide a header past AU keeper Anna Fiser to knot the game at 1-1.
Fiser faced just six shots in the first period and made one save while Allison Whitworth played the final 45 between the pipes and made two saves on seven shots.
The Tigers will open the regular season on Friday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. CT as Auburn hosts Texas in the season-opener at the Auburn Soccer Complex. Admission is free.