Whitworth's Spectacular Play Propels Auburn To 1-1 Tie With No. 5 Virginia
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Allison Whitworth
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Allison Whitworth
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Sept. 7, 2008

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ATHENS, Ga. - Allison Whitworth made 10 saves on Sunday but none were bigger than two of her overtimes saves as
she stopped a penalty kick in the 93rd minute and then made a diving save in the 103rd minute as the Auburn soccer team played to a 1-1 tie with No. 5 Virginia at the Turner Soccer Complex in Athens, Ga.

"If this was a tournament, Allison would be the tournament MVP," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "She was absolutely unbelievable all weekend and I think it is the best two-game performance of her career. We are disappointed we didn't get the win but we are happy to get the tie with the number five team in the country."

The game went to overtime thanks to Gabi Rivera drilling a penalty kick chance of her own in the 86th minute after Kara Kasten drew a foul in the box.

After seeing Virginia (4-0-1) control the pace of the game for the majority of the first 80 minutes, Auburn (2-3-1) finally kicked it into gear late in the match. Trailing 1-0 in the 85th minute, Caitlin King seemed to give Auburn a lead but instead was called for a foul at the top of the 18, negating her shot that beat Virginia keeper Celeste Miles.

Just a minute and a half later it was Rivara who finally put Auburn on the board with her second goal of the season.

Just two-and-a-half minutes into the first overtime Virginia's Maggie Kistner drew a foul on Jenn Johnson inside the Auburn box, setting up a Virginia penalty kick. Nikki Krzysik drew the assignment of taking the shot but Allison Whitworth made the diving save to keep the game going.

"I saw her (Krzsik) going right and I read her early and took a few steps to get there," Whitworth said. "I got a good jump on it. We work on those in practice and I got a good look at it."

In the second overtime both teams had their chances as Meghan Lenczyk went to the opposite post but Whitworth made a diving save and then three minutes later it was Caitlin King who went in on a breakaway after a pass from Katy Frierson but King was unable to get a shot off as Miles came off her line to thwart the scoring attempt.

Virginia controlled the pace for the majority of the match but Auburn started making headway in the final 10 minutes of the half. Caitlin King nearly tied the game with just 4:45 left as she went one-on-one with a Virginia defender but King was called for a foul at the top of the 18 seconds before her shot beat UVA goalkeeper Celeste Miles.

"Caitlin's chance was such a great play and I think it just clicked for the team that we could score on Virginia," Hoppa said. "You could see the energy rise then and the pressure extended and then we drew the PK and Gabi did a great job of finishing it. We owned the game from then on."

Auburn's lone shots in the first half came in succession late in the half as Lizzie Hamersly sent a free kick into a Virginia wall and then Gabi Rivera fired the rebound high and wide of the Virginia net.

Virginia took a 1-0 lead at 42:19 when Amanda Stewart went upper 90 to the opposite post after Julie King's clear of a Maggie Kistner shot from the line went to an uncovered Stewart, who buried her first goal of the season.

Whitworth finished the weekend with 23 saves after making a career-high on Friday vs. No. 6 Stanford.

Auburn will return to the Auburn Soccer Complex for its next three contests, starting with a Friday night match with No. 4 Florida State at 7pm CT. No. 25 Marquette and South Carolina will also square off in Auburn on Friday, kicking off at 4:30pm.