Tigers Slay No. 5 Duke, 1-0
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Bianca Sierra scored the game-winner against No. 5 Duke
Bianca Sierra scored the game-winner against No. 5 Duke

Sept. 2, 2011

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AUBURN, Ala. - Bianca Sierra's header off of a Mary Coffed corner kick in the 62nd minute was the only goal the Auburn soccer team needed on Friday night as it stunned No. 5 Duke, 1-0, at the Auburn Soccer Complex. The shutout was the second straight for Auburn and it was the program's third ever win over a top-five program and its second in the last year.

"We finally saw what this team is capable of," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "We knew it coming into the season. We didn't see it in the loss to Wake Forest and last weekend we were okay but we knew we had more. Now we know. What a great victory and what a total team effort. Everyone played hard, laid it on the line and this is just a great victory."

After playing a bend-but-don't break first half in which it was out-shot 10-4, Auburn (3-1-0) amped up its offense and defense in the second half, putting three of its six second-half shots on frame and finally coming through with the game-winning header off of the corner.

"I was trying to envision that I was going to score," Sierra said of her game-winner. "I could hear Berbs (assistant coach Amy Berbary) in the back of my head telling me to get off the back post and that's what I did."

"We talked about it before the game. This is a game where we have nothing to lose," Hoppa said. "Duke obviously had the pressure on them, being a top-five team and just coming off a win over the defending national champions (Notre Dame). For us it was a no-pressure game.

"We survived the first half. We didn't have a lot of offense. We bent but we didn't break. When we got to halftime I told the team that when you are the underdog, that's what you want, you want a 0-0 halftime"

Chandler Hillen came up huge for Auburn between the pipes, making a career-high eight saves, six in the first half, as Duke (4-1-0) fired off 20 shots.

"Words can't really describe it," Hillen said of the shutout. "I had a good game but my defense played well in front of me and our offense did the job and got the goal. I couldn't be happier right now.

Defender Mary Nicholson also had a big part in preserving the shutout as she cleared out a Kelly Cobb shot that was headed towards an empty net in the waning minutes of the second half.

Auburn's last win over a top-five team came one day shy of a year ago as it defeated No. 5 Florida State, 3-2, in double overtime on Sept. 3, 2010 at home.

Auburn will face Wright State on Sunday at 2pm in the final match of the Auburn Tournament while Duke stays in town to face Ole Miss at 11:30am.

Ole Miss (3-0-1) and Wright State (3-1-1) played to a scoreless tie in the first match of the afternoon. Ole Miss took 15 total shots, putting three on frame, while Wright State put seven of its 17 shots on frame.

Auburn-Duke Box Socre

Wright State-Ole Miss Box Score