Nov. 4, 2012
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The Auburn soccer team's run to a second straight Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship came up just short as it fell, 3-0, to No. 10 and top-seeded Florida on Sunday afternoon.
"I am really proud of our team," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "No one thought we would even get here and the run we made in this tournament was phenomenal. Overall the tournament was the best soccer we played all year and that's what we want to do in the postseason."
Auburn (12-10-1), which came in as the sixth seed, advanced past No. 19 Tennessee on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals after playing 110 minutes of scoreless soccer and then upset No. 12 and second-seeded Texas A&M, 2-0, before falling to the overall conference champion on Sunday.
Florida's (17-4-1) Adriana Leon scored what would ultimately be the game-winner in the 27th minute as Havana Solaun found Leon slicing through the Auburn back line. Leon was then 1v1 with Howard and beat the Auburn goalkeeper for her fifth goal of the season for a 1-0 lead.
SEC Tournament MVP Erika Tymrak, who had started the play on the first goal, again hooked up with Solaun on Florida's second goal. Solaun took a Holly King cross at the top of the box and passed back to Tymrak, who fired from 20 yards out to just inside the post for her eighth tally of the season and a 2-0 Florida lead in the 31st minute.
"This is the best Florida team I have ever seen and one of the best teams in the country. Unfortunately our goal was to keep it 0-0 at the half and they scored two great goals," Hoppa said. "I was really proud of our effort in the second half. We really came after them. We said we are not going to sit on this, we are not going to give up. We came after them, we had chances and if we punched one of those in it is a different second half.
Auburn took six of its nine total shots in the second half, putting four of them on frame, but could not solve Florida goalkeeper Taylor Burke, who finished with five saves.
Florida iced the game in the 70th minute when Solaun and Tymrak hooked up again, this time Solaun finishing off a Tymrak pass for her seventh goal of the season and a 3-0 Florida lead.
"Obviously we didn't get the automatic bid tonight so we have to get an at-large bid, which I think we have done enough to do," Hoppa said. "Our league is certainly good enough to get six teams into the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully we have a lot more soccer left to play this year."
Auburn will now await the Monday's NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament selection show to see if it received an at-large bid to this year's tournament. The show will air live at 3:30pm CT on NCAA.com.
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