Aug. 25, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. - Allison Whitworth collected the first shutout of her career and the Tigers made an own goal by the Texas defense stand up as Auburn opened the 2006 soccer season with a thrilling 1-0 victory over #15 Texas on Friday night at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
"To get a win like this in the first game of the year against a team as quality as Texas really speaks volumes for what this team can do the rest of the season," AU Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "The thing we talked about during preseason was the fact that every play and every minute matters, and that is the difference in a one-goal game. Create enough to make something happen and Kristin did that and we got a goal."
The only goal of the night came when the Auburn attack created massive confusion in front of UT keeper Dianna Pfenninger with just under 30 minutes left in the game. Kristin Stewart went down the right side of the 10-yard box to create the collapse of the AU offense as the UT defense was packed in the box and then fired a cross into the box. The ball ricocheted off of a UT defender and past Pfenninger, sending the crowd of 2,259 into a frenzy.
The game was very physical in the second half as Auburn was flagged nine times for fouls while Texas was whistled just three times. Texas also muscled up 10 shots to Auburn's two, but a stout Auburn defense and quick reflexes by Whitworth preserved Auburn's first season-opening victory over a ranked team since a 2-0 win over #17 West Virginia to kick off the 2002 campaign, when AU went on to win the SEC Championship.
The two teams played a scoreless first half with neither team putting up a sustained attack. Auburn was out-shot by the Longhorns, 5-4, but their hustle was evident as the Tigers had three corners to UT's one.
"Whitworth got the nod today and stepped up and did the job for us. The save that she made on the free kick late - coming out of no where to get a hand on it - was a big play for us. That is one of the things that she brings to the team for us, she has that great range to cover the goal because she is so big and long and athletic," Hoppa said.
The crowd was the second largest home crowd in Auburn soccer history.
Auburn will return to the field on Sunday night for a 7 p.m. match with Jacksonville State. The first 250 fans through the gates will receive an Auburn schedule magnet.