Nov. 7, 2007
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -
Caitlin King twice found Kara Kasten for goal scoring plays as Auburn played to a 2-2 draw with No. 25 LSU in the opening round of the 2007 Southeastern Conference Soccer Tournament at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex. LSU advanced to the semi-final round after connecting on four penalty kicks to Auburn's two.
"It was a great game and it a shame that a team has to lose," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "I couldn't be more proud of our girls and the effort they had. Our juniors really stepped up. Allison Whitworth was amazing and Kara Kasten played with that refusing to lose mode."
After a scoreless first half the action went to a frenetic pace in the second half with three goals coming in an eight-and-a-half minute span. Auburn (10-7-2) took its initial lead at the 57:03 mark when King went down the sideline and crossed a ball through the six and Stephanie Fransoso and a LSU defender's legs to an awaiting Kasten, who finished with her third goal of the season.
LSU (11-3-7) answered exactly three minutes later when Michelle Makasini evened it at a goal each. Six minutes later (66:38) it was King going down the same sideline, but this time she went over the top on the pass to Kasten, who flicked it in off her head for a 2-1 Auburn advantage.
It took LSU 12 minutes to answer a second time but Rachel Yepez, who had been stopped three times before by Allison Whitworth, scored her 14th goal of the season from 15 yards out off of an Amanda Careno pass to even it in the 78th minute.
After two scoreless overtimes and a declared draw, Auburn went first in penalty kicks, missing its first two and connecting on its second two. It would not matter however as LSU connected on all four of its chances.
The first 45 minutes was a half of missed opportunities and great saves by both goalkeepers. On the Auburn side of the ledger it was Fransoso and Rebecca Howell each having quality scoring chances snuffed out by LSU keeper Valerie Vogler, who made six saves on six shots in the first half. For LSU it was Yepez that had the best shot but could not beat the keeper as she found herself all alone inside the 18 only to shoot it right at AU's Whitworth, who had three saves while seeing nine shots.
The biggest play in the first half might have been the shot that wasn't taken. With Auburn mounting an offensive flurry, Vogler went down to stop a shot by Howell but could not hold onto a save. The rebound rolled to Caitlin King, but she could not pull the trigger on a shot as she had a LSU defender on her hip.
Whitworth finished the night with nine saves while facing 11 shots for Auburn while Vogler made eight saves on 11 shots.
King tied the school record for assists in a season with her 12th and 13th of the year.
Auburn must now wait until Monday to find out if it has done enough to advance to a second consecutive NCAA Tournament.