Nov. 6, 2009
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - Auburn's Southeastern Conference Tournament run came to an end on Friday night when it dropped a 1-0 match to No. 13 LSU at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex. The loss ends Auburn's season at 10-8-3 with the NCAA Tournament selections looming on Monday.
"It's always a great game when we play LSU. These are two quality teams and it is a great soccer game every time we play," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "Both teams play great soccer and both have dynamic attacking personalities. Unfortunately they scored and we didn't. We had our chances, we certainly had our opportunities. We had really good looks at the goal. (LSU goalkeeper) Mo Isom made some great saves for LSU and unfortunately we just couldn't keep them off the board."
Isom made six saves on 12 Auburn shots, six of which came off the foot of Rebecca Howell and four from Caitlin King.
LSU broke the scoreless tie in the 68th minute when Malorie Rutledge turned and rifled in a shot from 25 yards out, through the Auburn defense and past Auburn goalkeeper Amy Howard, who finished with four saves.
Auburn was knocking on the door to tie the game as the match wound down. Howell ripped a shot from the top of the 18 into Isom's midsection that she was able to keep hold of in the 85th minute. In the 87th minute it was Heather Havron who found herself on the receiving end of a great cross but her header was stopped by a sliding Isom to preserve the shutout.
Howell had a pair of good scoring opportunities within three minutes of each other at the start of the second half, sending a shot over the crossbar from a step inside the 18 and then ripping a shot from just outside the six that Mo Isom made a great save on.
Each team spent time controlling momentum in the first half with LSU collecting seven shots and Auburn six. Howell took three shots in the half, putting one on frame, while the LSU dup of Melissa Clarke and Malorie Rutledge each took two shots. Howell's best look came with just over three minutes remaining in the half but her shot after just one touch went wide of the net.
Howard made three first-half saves while Isom made one.
LSU improved to 14-4-3 with the win and will face the winner of the Florida-South Carolina match for the SEC Championship.
The NCAA Selection show airs at approximately 7pm CT on ESPNews on Monday. Auburn is expecting to advance to a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament and the eighth overall in school history.