Oct. 6, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Three first-half goals made all the difference Sunday as the Auburn soccer team (4-8-1, 0-5 SEC) dropped a 3-0 decision at No. 8 Florida (9-3-1, 3-2 SEC). After a frustrating first half against the Gators, Auburn was able to come out and hold them scoreless in the final 45 minutes.
"We keep shooting ourselves in the foot and you can't do that against a great team like Florida," said Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa. "We had some defensive breakdowns and were frustrated going into the locker room at halftime. I thought they did a great job of responding and played a better second half with fewer mistakes. They really finished well."
Starting goalkeeper Alicen Wright was shaken up during the first goal and was replaced by Alyse Scott. Scott gave up two goals, but came out in the second half with a near-flawless period, picking up a pair of saves while facing eight shots and three corner kicks.
"Alyse did a great job of coming in and helping us out in a tough situation," said Hoppa. "It's not easy to just come into a game cold and play. She is a great player with the right mentality and I was really proud of her."
Auburn had a few good looks early in the match, taking advantage of Florida fouls with some set plays. The Tigers' best look at the goal came late in the half on a through pass that set up a Chelsea Gandy-Cromer shot.
Florida struck first in the 16th minute, capitalizing on a corner kick. Christen Westphal took the corner with Savannah Jordan taking the header. The would-be goal was saved off the head of Kim Spence, but Pamela Begic was there to follow up for the goal.
The Gators scored their second goal as Jillian Graff made a run down the right side of the field, receiving the pass from Liz Slattery. The goal put the Gators up 2-0 in the 31st minute. UF came back in the 40th minute with another goal as a Lindsey Cooper cross from the right corner was headed in by Caroline Triglia.
Auburn got a good look at the goal in the 85th minute as Bianca Sierra crashed the goal on a free kick, but was not able to find the back of the net in the scrum. Sierra followed up on the next run down the field with her second shot of the game, taking a through pass from Gerken, but it was saved.
The Tigers will return to action Friday with a 7 p.m. CT, home match against Georgia. It will be the All Auburn, All Orange match for the season with the first 200 fans in the gates receiving an orange t-shirt.