Nov. 4, 2009
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - Katy Frierson picked up a pair of assists to help Auburn earn up its first win in a SEC Tournament match since the 2005 postseason as Auburn downed Ole Miss, 2-1, on Wednesday at the Orange Beach Sportsplex. The win advanced Auburn into the semifinals, where it will play SEC West Champion LSU at 5pm on Friday.
"We did a great job of finding a way to win. Ole Miss is a great team and they played a great game, our girls just did a fantastic job of getting better from last weekend," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "We scored goals when we needed to and we did a great job of ending the game; the last 10-15 minutes, not giving them a good look and getting out of here with a 2-1 win."
Frierson, who was named to the All-SEC First Team on Tuesday, assisted on both Mary Coffed's and Julie King's goals as Auburn (10-7-3) defeated Ole Miss (7-3-3) for the first time since the 2004 season.
"I try to find the open pass and do whatever it takes to keep the ball for the team. That's the role of the midfield, to keep the ball and keep possession," Frierson said.
Auburn wasted little time getting on the board, scoring 2:38 into the match on the game's first shot. Frierson picked up her team-leading ninth assist, finding Coffed for her fourth goal of the season and the 1-0 lead. Frierson held possession just outside the 18 and crossed it to Coffed at the opposite side of the 18. Coffed then sent it back in across the grain, sliding it just inside far post for Auburn's quickest score of the season.
"One of our keys to the game was to come out early and come out strong with a lot of physicality. It was really important to get on the board first," Coffed said. "We like to get the ball up the field as fast as we can. Katy gave me a perfect cross and I was able to place it far post, so lots of the credit goes to Katy."
Caitlin King was inches away from putting Auburn up two when she hit the same post the Coffed snuck it inside of in the game's 13th minute after splitting a pair of Ole Miss defenders at the top of the box. King finished with a team-high five shots
The game stayed 1-0 Auburn until Julie King headed in a Frierson corner in the 57th minute to put Auburn up a pair. The goal was King's third of the season while Frierson collected her second multi-assist game of the season. Ashley Marks earned the corner for Auburn when she took a Rebecca Howell feed into the box and put a shot on frame that forced Ole Miss goalkeeper Alley Ronaldi into a finger-tip save.
Ole Miss got to within a goal, 2-1, with just under 29 minutes remaining when Dylan Jordan snuck a slow roller through the defense and past Auburn goalkeeper Amy Howard for her fifth goal of the season. Hannah Weatherly found Jordan, earning her third assist on the season.
Jordan's goal was the first Auburn has allowed since the 11th minute of its match at Tennessee, snapping a 320-minute stretch of shutout soccer for Howard and the Auburn backline.
Ole Miss took 15 shots to Auburn's 12 but Howard, the SEC All-Freshman Team goalkeeper, made five saves to earn the win for Auburn.
Auburn faces No. 3 seed LSU, a 4-2 winner over Vanderbilt, in the semifinals. Auburn is 0-1-1 all-time against LSU at the SEC Tournament. The two teams met in the first round of the 2007 tournament, playing to a 2-2 tie, though LSU advanced on penalty kicks. LSU defeated Auburn, 2-0, in the regular-season meeting between the two on Oct. 4 in Auburn.
Frierson's two assists give her 17 for her career, which ties her with Jac Schwarz (2002-06) and Jill Palmer (1995-98) for seventh in Auburn history while her 11 assists this season are tied with Maggie Cauley (1994) for fourth in a single season at Auburn. She has now collected 45 career points in 42 career matches.