Oct. 22, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Auburn scored three second-half goals to erase a 1-0 halftime deficit and win, 3-1, over Tennessee in Thursday night's Southeastern Conference matchup. The win was the first for Auburn in Knoxville in five tries and also spoiled Tennessee's senior night.
"The second half was the best we have played from back to front all season," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "The team was absolutely fantastic tonight and to get our first win in Knoxville when we needed a win so badly is very, very special."
Down 1-0 at the half after a Tennessee (7-7-3, 3-4-2 SEC) goal off a Mick Imgram goal on a corner kick, Auburn's come-from-behind win started just 32 seconds after intermission. Katy Frierson started the run by finding Mary Coffed, who took it down the near sideline and threaded a cross into the 18, past two defenders and an Auburn forward before Chelsea Yauch was able to race in from her midfielders position uncovered and drill it in for her fourth goal of the season.
"Coach Hoppa told us that Tennessee's goal wasn't the only one that was going to be scored on the night," Yauch said. "She told us to keep attacking and that what was on my mind."
Rebecca Howell gave Auburn (7-7-3, 4-5-0 SEC) a 2-1 lead just nine minutes later, ripping in her fifth goal of the season from two touches inside the 18 after she split a pair of Tennessee defenders at the top of the box. Caitlin King had fed Yauch who then left it for Howell, who struck for her 19th career goal.
"We decided at halftime that we weren't going to lose and we were going to get it done," Howell said. "The forwards talked with Amy (Berbary, assistant coach) about figuring it out. We scored the first goal 30 seconds after the half and we knew we couldn't stop there."
Julie King made it 3-1 when she and sister Caitlin teamed up to finish off a Heather Havron corner kick in the 63rd minute. Havron sent the corner halfway through the 18, which is where Caitlin King took a touch and sent it back across the top of the six to Julie King, who buried her second goal of the season.
"It took us a little while to figure out how to play Tennessee. They are such a dangerous attacking team and once we did we had momentum and we continued that out of halftime. We knew the score wasn't going to stay 1-0 and it was up to us to change it into a positive for us," Hoppa said.
Imgram bent in her 11th goal of the season off of a corner kick in the 11th minute to give Tennessee the 1-0 first-half lead. Her service was initially stopped by Auburn goalkeeper Amy Howard, but she was unable to squeeze the shot, which dropped out of her mitts and over the line.
Caitlin King's two assists on the night give her 25 for her career and eight points in the last three matches.
The win moves Auburn into sixth place in the SEC standings with two matches remaining.
Auburn returns home for its final match in the Auburn Soccer Complex this season when it plays host to Georgia at 1pm CT on Sunday. Prior to the match Auburn will honor the six seniors on this year's team. The match will air live on FSN.