Aug. 29, 2008
COLUMBIA, Mo. -
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Missouri's Kari Adams scored her first goal of the season off of a corner midway through the second half and Auburn was unable to answer, falling 1-0 on Friday night at Missouri's Audrey J. Walton Complex.
"The girls had a great effort and this is a team that is going to have a great season. It was a tough match between a great SEC team and a great Big XII team and hopefully it is a game that will make us better," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said.
The first half resembled a track meet as much as it did a soccer match as both teams streaked up and down the field trying to mount an offensive attack. For Auburn, all it could muster was three shots and three corners during the first 45 minutes, with none of its shots going on frame. The same could not be said for Missouri, which was able to get 16 shots off, with seven going on frame.
The best scoring chances in the first half all belonged to Missouri, with the first coming just three-and-a-half minutes in when Michelle Collins' shot from inside the six and inside a crowd found the legs of an Auburn defender. The two teams engaged in a 40-minute sprint-off from then on out until Missouri's Mallory Stipetich found herself sliding into the six alongside an Auburn defender and toed a shot that Whitworth was able to deflect for the save with just over two minutes left in the half.
Of Missouri's 16 first-half shots, few proved to be threats to Whitworth, who was not overly tested in making her seven first-half saves.
"The first half we were real happy to be at zero-zero," Hoppa said. "That's where you want to be when you are playing on the road. We played a little more conservative in the first half and we were happy with a scoreless game; that was the plan."
Auburn came out of the locker room re-energized and was able to turn the tables on Missouri for the first 15 minutes, outshooting Missouri seven-to-one, with three of Auburn's shot going on frame to none of Missouri's.
Monica Afanador had Auburn's first second-half scoring chance as she controlled a failed Missouri clearing attempt just outside of the 18 but her shot sailed over the crossbar, negating the chance.
Four minutes later it was Rebecca Howell who had a clear shot at the Missouri goal, firing off a shot from the top corner of the 18 that Missouri keeper Tasha Dittamore was able to handle. Auburn kept up its offensive pressure up from there as Howell's pass to King turned into a corner and a minute later a Kara Kasten serve into the box resulted in another Afanador header over the crossbar.
Auburn kept that pressure on until there was 20 minutes remaining in the half when Missouri started to strike back. A Kari Adams blocked shot resulted in a corner for Missouri and Adams was then able to ripple the back of the net at the 71:46 mark off of the resulting corner, ending Auburn's shutout streak at 251:46.
"In the second half we wanted to pick up the tempo, control the tempo and put more pressure on them, and it worked for a while," Hoppa said. "They got that goal against the run of play, getting a corner. Allison got both hands on it and got hit at the same time, and it was just unfortunate we couldn't get one early in the half and get up one."
Auburn was able to get just one shot off after the Missouri goal, finishing the night with 11 shots to Missouri's 23. The loss was the first for Auburn, which fell to 2-1-0 on the season. Missouri is now 1-1-0.
Auburn will stay on the road for its next match, travelling to Lawrence, Kan., for a 1pm tilt with No. 25 Kansas.