AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn soccer team put together a complete team performance in a 3-0 shutout of Kentucky Sunday afternoon. The Tigers (5-3-2, 2-0-1 SEC) continued their unbeaten run in Southeastern Conference play after holding a 10-5 advantage in shots over the Wildcats (5-7-0, 0-3-0).
“Any time you can put away a SEC team in the first half and hold them to one shot on goal, it is a great performance,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “I thought our team defending was outstanding. It was a complete team performance.”
Kristen Dodson had a hand in all three goals in the conference clash. The senior racked up her fifth career brace with two goals and assisted the other for Auburn. With her second goal, Dodson moved into fifth on Auburn’s all-time scoring list with 26 goals.
Sarah Le Beau went the distance between the posts and stopped the lone shot she faced, securing her 17th career shutout. The back line, led by senior defender Caroline Bado, continually thwarted Kentucky on the counter-attack and notched its fourth shutout of 2017.
“Coming from a tough game against Tennessee, we came out today wanting to make a statement,” Bado said. “For us as defenders, this performance was very encouraging.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to assert their dominance. Following a foul in the defensive half of the field, Troutman launched a ball up to Dodson, who laid it off to Folds. The sophomore then took a shot from distance that beat the keeper and gave Auburn a 1-0 lead.
Just over 11 minutes later, Dodson doubled the lead. Auburn’s build-up included the combination of Alspach and Folds, before the final ball was slotted at the near post for Dodson’s first goal of the match.
The Aurora, Ill. native rattled home her second goal of the fixture when she took a loose ball inside Kentucky territory and chipped the goalie from inside the box, making it a 3-0 match.
The Tigers maintained the 3-0 lead from that point on and held on for the crucial three points in SEC play.
“It was very important,” Dodson said of getting off to a fast start. “We like to play fast at the beginning of the match and today we were able to put a couple goals away. That helps keep up the momentum.”
Auburn will look to continue its momentum in league play when it hits the road to Starkville, Miss. for a matchup with Mississippi State, Sept. 29. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT on the SEC Network+.