Aug. 23, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Auburn and Samford opened up the 2009 soccer season by playing to a scoreless tie in Birmingham on Sunday evening. Auburn out-shot Samford, 17-5, in what was a very physical game for both squads with both teams losing a player to a red card throughout the match.
"Our kids played with a lot of heart tonight. The first game out and to have that composure after losing a man to a red card, we still controlled the tempo of the game for the majority of it," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said.
Auburn's Caitlin King had multiple chances to put the finishing touches on the match during the first overtime, putting three shots on frame in the span of two minutes but all three resulted in saves by Samford goalkeeper Alyssa Whitehead and subsequent corner kicks for Auburn. Auburn finished the match with five corners while Samford did not draw any.
Playing without Julie King from the 44:05 mark until the end of the match due to the red card, Auburn's nine field players had their hands full with an aggressive Samford attack. Auburn kept its composure without the sophomore outside back, holding Samford to just four shots after the ejection.
With the match halfway through the first overtime, Samford's Caroline Baxter drew a red card of her own when she drug down Caitlin King from behind on a breakaway.
Samford was whistled for 17 fouls in the match and also drew a yellow card while Auburn was whistled for 12 fouls.
Auburn out-shot Samford, 8-3, in the first half with three of Auburn's
shots forcing Whitehead into making three saves. Auburn freshman
goalkeeper Amy Howard saw three shots come her way in the first 45
minutes, making her first save of the half when there was just 38
seconds remaining in the half.
Howard finished the match with two saves while Whitehead made nine.
"I was really nervous going in with it being my first match. We didn't get the win but I thought we played well," Howard said.
Auburn will open its home schedule on Friday night when it plays host to Dayton at 7pm at the Auburn Soccer Complex.