AUBURN, Ala. – Taylor Troutman scored in the 70th minute to guide Auburn to a 1-0 victory against Baylor on Sunday afternoon at the Auburn Soccer Complex. The Tigers (5-3-0) endured 147 minutes of delays due to lightning in the surrounding area and a quality opposing side before emerging victorious.
“It was a day with a lot of adversity with the lightning delay twice, and the really long [stoppage] the second time,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “We played a great Baylor team. They play a different style and they’re tough to play against. I’m really proud of our team to come out with a result.”
Six different players recorded shots in the match, including two by Casie Ramsier and Troutman, to total eight. Goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau went the distance between the posts and tallied seven saves en route to her third shutout of the season.
Defensively, the trio of Kiana Clark, Karli Gutsche and Haley Gerken rotated in the center of the back line and were key components to not allowing a single one of 13 shots by Baylor (5-3-0) cross the line.
“It was definitely a team effort,” stated Gutsche. “We had a lot of people coming in and out of the back and everyone was able to ma’am up and do what they had to do to get the shutout.”
Lightning pushed the start time back by 24 minutes and then stopped by just five minutes in. Delays then totaled up to 123 additional minutes before play was resumed.
After surviving a bevy of attacks from the Bears, Troutman nearly put the hosts ahead with a lofted shot in the 38th minute, but the opposing goalie was able to making a diving stop to keep it 0-0 heading into halftime.
The sophomore from Toms River, N.J. would not be denied in the second period as she netted her first goal of the season in the 70th minute. The goal was set up by Kristen Dodson, who shook a slew of defenders and slotted it to Troutman for the finish into the back of the net.
“Kristen had a similar run two minutes before [the goal] and I just told her the left side was open,” said Troutman. “The next play, she passed me a perfect ball right in behind the back line and I finished it one-time. It was great getting my momentum back and be able to help the team win.”
Troutman then did her part on defense with 16 minutes remaining as she saved a shot off the line to keep the Tigers ahead, 1-0.
“What a game [Troutman] had,” said Hoppa. “It was a fantastic game by her. She scored a great goal and saved one off the line. I’m really proud of her.”
The defense held strong in the final 15 minutes and sent Auburn to its fourth non-conference win of the season. The Tigers have now held a winning record against non-league opponents during the regular season in 16 of Hoppa’s 18 seasons at the helm.
Auburn jumps back into SEC play with a match versus South Carolina next Sunday. The ball will get rolling at 6 p.m. at the Auburn Soccer Complex and will be broadcasted on the SEC Network.