Aug. 31, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Auburn thought it had taken the lead at the with just under six minutes left but an apparent goal by Caitlin King was negated by an offsides call and Kansas responded with a goal after Auburn was down a player due to cards at the 85:12 mark as Auburn fell at No. 25 Kansas, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon.
Auburn (2-2-0) outshot Kansas (2-0-0) 17-8 and took six corners while holding Kansas without any but a series of late cards to Chelsea Yauch took her off the field for the final 5:17 and that proved to be the difference in the contest.
"Soccer is a funny game. The better team doesn't always win. Today we were the better team but we didn't finish enough chances. We allowed them to stay in the game when we should have put it away, especially for as well as we played in the second half," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said.
Kansas was held without a shot until 5:37 into the match but the when it did get one off it resulted in the game's first goal as Monica Dolinsky rifled it inside the opposite post after a failed Auburn clear to give it a 1-0 lead.
Auburn had a chance to get the equalizer less four minutes later as Kansas' Lauren Jackson was issued a yellow card for her hard foul just outside of the 18 but Kara Kasten's free kick attempt sailed just high and wide of the Kansas net.
Katy Frierson then had a chance to get on the board 25 minutes in, ripping a shot headed for the upper 90 but KU keeper Julie Hanley was able to get her mitts on it and hold onto the shot to keep it a 1-0 game. Just 10 minutes later it was Lydia Townsend gaining control inside the 18 but her quick turn and fire was blocked by a KU defender.
Auburn had one more great scoring chance in the first half, it coming with just over a minute remaining, but again was unable to get it past Hanley. Lizzie Hamersly started the attack with a bomb of a free kick from just outside the Auburn 18 to Stephanie Fransoso, who took it up the sideline before putting a cross dead-on to the head of Kori Hoelscher, but again Hanley was able to get the stop, finishing the first half with three saves.
Auburn outshot Kansas 8-3 in the first half, putting six on goal, and was able to draw two corners in the first 45.
Auburn upped its offensive intensity right out of the half, getting shots from Kasten, Caitlin King and Frierson all within the first four minutes of the half before Becca Howell finally got Auburn on the board when she netted her first goal of the season at 50:23. Gaining control just outside the 18 near the end line, Howell turned back upfield and bent a shot to the top middle of the Kansas net, over the reach of Hanley's outstretched arms.
After Howell's goal it was more of the same for Auburn as it continued to pour on the pressure with an uncovered Howell just missing on a one-touch after a cross from Frierson at 67:19, sending her shot high. Over the next four minutes Auburn would keep its attack up, drawing three consecutive corners while Kansas was unable to clear it out of its defensive third.
Caitlin King had a chance to give Auburn its first lead of the match with 12 minutes remaining, taking a lead pass from Jenni Prescott up the sideline before racing past her defender and turning in towards the center of the field. She then rifled a shot but it hit the post, temporarily stopping the Auburn attack.
It looked like Auburn finally had the lead at 84:03 but an offsides call negated Caitlin King's goal. She had started the run up the sideline before putting a spot-on cross to Frierson, who rifled a shot that Hanley stopped with her hands but could not handle. The resulting rebound went right to King, who was uncovered but also offsides.
With the clock stopped due to an injury, things turned in Kansas' favor as a total of four cards were issued with the net result being Auburn down a player due to two yellow cards to Yauch. Playing with the extra man, it took Kansas just 27 seconds to net the game winner as Emily Cressy ripped a shot in from outside the 18 to give Kansas the 2-1 lead at 85:12.
Auburn will stay on the road for its next two matches, heading to Athens, Ga., for a tournament that will include the host No. 17 Georgia (Soccer Buzz), No. 6 Stanford (Soccer America) and No. 6 Virginia (Soccer Buzz). Auburn's first match will be on Friday at 4:30pm ET against Virginia.