Natalie Donaldson had two of Auburn's five shots
Aug. 26, 2012
IRVINE, Calif. - The No. 21 Auburn soccer team held UC Irvine to just five shots but it was unable to generate much of its own offense as it too was held to just five shots in a 1-0 loss on Sunday afternoon. The loss was the second straight for Auburn, which fell to 2-2-0. Irvine improved to 1-3-0.
"UC Irvine was a little hungrier than we were," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "I thought we had more of the play but we just weren't effective when we had the ball, especially in the final third."
Neither team could sustain an attack throughout the 90 minutes and when each was able to find opportunities, eight of the 10 combined shots went either high or wide of the net. Auburn goalkeeper Amy Howard finished with just one save while UC Irvine goalkeeper Jennifer Randazzo didn't make any.
"Irvine did a great job of crowding the middle of the field. Both vertically and horizontally it was very crowded with a lot of numbers and we didn't do a good enough job of breaking it down or going around the outside," Hoppa said.
Auburn, which led the SEC in shots and corner kicks heading into the weekend, was held to just two corners while UC Irvine attempted four.
UC Irvine finally lit the scoreboard in the 79th minute when Mady Solow fired a shot high over the arms of a leaping Amy Howard from 18 yards out. Natalia Ledezma had found Solow, who had raced in from the midfield to score her first goal of the season. The goal came on what would be the final combined shot of the afternoon.
Mary Coffed's header towards a wide-open net in the 56th minute went just high, thwarting what was Auburn's best scoring chance of the afternoon. Tatiana Coleman had gained possession following an Auburn free kick, sending the cross to Coffed.
UC Irvine appeared to score the game's first goal in the 65th minute off of a corner but the goal was called off for a UC Irvine foul in the box before the ball went in.
Neither team could muster much offense in the first half as the teams combined for just five shots, three by Auburn. None of the five shots were on frame either leaving each keeper without a first-half save. Auburn was able to take two corners to UC Irvine's one but both of Auburn's services went over the end line while UC irvine's was simply cleared out.
Auburn returns home for its next five matches, a stretch that begins Friday, Aug. 31 at 7pm when in-state foe Samford heads to the Auburn Soccer Complex. Admission is free to all regular-season home matches.
Follow Auburn Soccer on twitter @AU_Soccer.