Oct. 27, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. -
A two-goal first half and three goals in a two minute, 59 second span in the second half propelled the Auburn soccer team to a 6-1 victory over arch-rival Alabama and the program's fifth SEC West title on Friday night at the AU Soccer Complex.
"Obviously we had won four straight SEC West (2001-04) titles and when you are the champion everyone is gunning for you," AU Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "This year we got to come in as the underdog and plugged away and with the win over Tennessee last weekend we were able to move into first in the West and control our own destiny. We took care of business tonight and it is going to be great to hang another banner on the fence."
Freshman Jenni Prescott got the scoring started for the Tigers (11-4-3, 5-3-3 SEC) just 5:40 in as her shot from just outside the 18 bended in at the far side of the net and into the far top corner for her second goal of the season.
After allowing an Alabama (5-14-0, 1-10-0 SEC) goal off of a failed clear following a UA corner just 1:20 into the second half, Auburn turned it up and had an offensive onslaught over the final 22 minutes.
Senior Amanda Garcia got the scoring going as she drilled her second penalty kick of the season at the 68:00 mark.
It didn't take long for classmate Ronda Brooks to keep the pressure on the Crimson Tide as she scored from six-yards out off of a feed from senior Jenny Zarzour and Stewart just 56 seconds after Garcia's successful PK.
"We had to keep trying hard to get the goals to go in. We had a lot of chances (30 shots) and we just had to finish," Brooks said.
Sophomore Kara Kasten kept the crowd into it as she took a feed from Stephanie Fransoso just outside of the 6-yard box and buried her second goal of the year at the 70:59 mark, just two minutes and three seconds after Brooks' goal.
Freshman Becca Howell put the icing on the SEC Western Division Title cake as she bombed a shot from 16-yards out at the 82:01 mark for the final margin.
The senior class of Brooks, Garcia, Stewart and Zarzour contributed three goals and two assists for eight points on the night.
"It starts from the great leadership of our senior class," Hoppa said. "We brought in a great group of freshman but they were led by an excellent senior class. Everyone played hard for those six seniors tonight."
The Tigers will play either fourth-seeded South Carolina at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday or third-seeded Vanderbilt at 2:30 p.m., depending on the outcome of Sunday's Kentucky-Arkansas match-up in Fayetteville, Ark.
Ole Miss had won the SEC West title last season.