Sept. 26, 2008
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
Neither Auburn nor Kentucky were able to solve the opposing defense while both goalkeepers made a handful of game-changing saves as the two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the Southeastern Conference opener for both clubs.
"Getting shutouts on the road is very, very difficult and you have to give credit to both back lines and both goalkeepers," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "It was a defensive struggle and we are a little frustrated that we couldn't get one. We were pretty close a few times but the Kentucky keeper (Sydney Hiance) made some great saves."
Rebecca Howell had a chance to end it twice midway through the first overtime period but was stifled first by a Hiance's kick save and then just over a minute later by the crossbar as she fired one from just outside the 18.
Auburn (4-4-2, 0-0-1 SEC) had a 10 minute window in which it dominated the offensive attack in the second half but came up empty on the scoreboard. Julie King was able to get a pair of shots off, including a header off of a corner; Katy Frierson put one right into the midsection of Hiance in the 72nd minute and then Stephanie Fransoso just misfired from inside the 18 less than seven minutes later.
"We really picked up our level about midway through the second half and we really started turning on the offensive pressure and doing the things that we asked them to do. We were just inches from getting the game-winner," Hoppa said.
Allison Whitworth, who finished the night with five saves, made a huge save in the 54th minute when she dove to her left on a Kristin Kover shot from the top of the 18, her second save on a Kover scoring chance of the half. She finished the half with three saves, including one in the 85th minute as Kentucky turned up the offensive pressure in the final 11 minutes of the period.
Neither team was able to muster a sustained offensive attack in the first half, combining for just three shots on goal, two of which belonged to Auburn, before retreating to the locker room deadlocked at 0-0 after 45 minutes.
Katy Frierson had Auburn's first scoring chance just over 11 minutes in as she blistered a shot from in close on the far goal line that Hiance momentarily stopped, resulting in Auburn's first of four corner kicks in the half.
Each of the King sisters Julie and Caitlin, also had opportunities to score off of corners in the first half but both put headers off of Frierson corners wide of Hiance. Caitlin King had another solid scoring chance in the 38th minute, heading a Kori Hoelscher corner straight toward the UK net but Hiance was able to stop it before the UK defense cleared it out to keep the game scoreless.
The 0-0 tie was the first for Auburn since playing 120 minutes of scoreless soccer at Arkansas on Oct. 15, 2006.
Kentucky is now 2-5-2, 0-0-1 SEC.
Auburn will next travel to Nashville, Tenn., where it will face Vanderbilt in a regionally televised match on FSN at 2pm CT. The game is part of Under Armour's `Power In Pink' initiative in which the teams will help raise breast cancer awareness. The Auburn team will wear pink jerseys while Vanderbilt will wear white jerseys with pink trim.