Oct. 8, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. -
Auburn's offense broke out of a slump with a season-high six goals as the Tigers defeated Mississippi State, 6-0, on Sunday afternoon at the AU Soccer Complex, posting the team's fourth straight shutout in the process.
"It is great for our young offense to get this win," AU Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "It was good for the girls to get some attacking rhythm because now we go on the road again in the SEC and we have to play better offensively on the road."
Senior forward Kristin Stewart collected two goals on the day as she scored at the 22:45 mark and the 48:40 mark, giving her 11 career goals. Her first goal of the day came as freshman Caitlin King fed her a ball on the far side of the 18 and she used her speed to get through the MSU defense and slice a shot past MSU goalkeeper Taryn Holland from six yards out, giving AU a 3-0 advantage.
Stewart later collected her second goal of the game as she blasted a shot from just outside of the 18-yard box off of a free kick to make it 5-0 Auburn at the time.
Freshman Gabi Rivera got Auburn on the board first when she collected a loose ball outside of the 18 and fired a shot high past Holland for her third goal of the season just 16:24 into the match. It was Auburn's first goal in 236:24 of soccer, dating back to King's overtime winner at Kentucky three games ago.
King gave Auburn a comfortable 4-0 lead heading into halftime when she headed in a free kick cross from senior Jenny Zarzour at 32:29, her fourth of the season.
Senior defender Ronda Brooks closed out the scoring with just under five minutes remaining when she took the ball from just over the midfield stripe and dribbled through the MSU defense before unleashing a shot from 15-yards out that beat backup MSU keeper Stephanie Dallas.
Auburn's second goal of the match was credited as an own goal after freshman Becca Howell dribbled in from the near sideline and sent a cross into the box that bounced off of the back of a MSU defender into the near side of the net.
Auburn's defense was once again stellar, limiting MSU to just eight shots, only three of which were on frame. AU has now posted four straight shutouts and hasn't allowed a goal in 412.48 of play, dating back to South Carolina's lone goal in its 1-0 victory at Auburn on Sunday, Sept. 24, a span of four-plus games.
"Ronda's pretty modest but you have to give her a lot of credit with all of the young players she has playing around her on the back line," Hoppa said. "She does a great job leading that group and everyone works hard and she puts them in the right spot and they have done a great job preserving the shutouts."
The six goals was the most by an Auburn squad since Sept. 22, 2002, when AU defeated UMass, 6-2, and the most in an SEC game since Oct. 19, 1997, when the Tigers defeated LSU, 7-1.
The win improved Auburn's record to 8-3-2, 2-2-2 SEC while Mississippi State dropped to 2-11-0, 1-5-0.
Auburn will get back on the road for a pair of games this coming weekend. AU plays at LSU at 7 p.m. CT on Friday and then at Arkansas at 1 p.m. on Sunday.