Nov. 10, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -
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The Auburn soccer season came to an end on Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex with a 3-1 loss to No. 21 California in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
"California is a very class team and there is a reason they were in the Sweet 16 last season," AU Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "They are extremely talented and I think the difference in the game was their experience and our lack there-of at this level. We had five seniors that had played in an NCAA game and that was it."
California scored just 3:47 into the match as Julia Schnugg collected the rebound off of Nadia Al-Lami's blocked shot and found a slot through the Auburn defense from inside the six-yard box to score the quickest goal allowed by Auburn this season.
Schnugg upped the score to 2-0 California as Courtney Hooker drew Auburn goalkeeper Allison Whitworth off of her line on the far side of the box and slid a pass to a lightly guarded Schnugg on the near side, who buried it at the 37:28 mark.
Auburn put plenty of pressure on the California defense and its goalkeeper, Nicole Jarbo, taking eight shots in the first half, seven of which were on frame. Ronda Brooks narrowly missed tying the game at the 19:38 mark as her header off of Molly Turner's corner kick was headed toward the net just inside the near post, only to be cleared by a California defender.
California upped its lead to 3-0 just 39 seconds into the second half as Caitlin Hannegan scored from inside the box off of a pass from Schnugg.
Jenny Zarzour had a chance to light the scoreboard for Auburn in the 63rd minute as Auburn was awarded a penalty kick after a California handball inside the box, however Zarzour's attempt was saved by a diving Jarbo, to temporarily preserve the shutout.
Auburn finally got on the board with just under 10 minutes to play when Amanda Garcia blistered a free kick from 28 yards out that bounced almost straight down off of the crossbar to an awaiting Zarzour, who scored her third goal of the season and first in NCAA Tournament play.
Auburn finished the match with 18 shots, forcing Jarbo to make nine saves, while California took 16 shots.
"California played a terrific game. I am proud of the way our girls played and battled, and I was especially proud of the way we played until the last minute. The rebound that this team made from last season to this year was tremendous in the number of wins and quality wins we had this year," Hoppa said.
California (12-4-5) will move on to face Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Tallahassee on Sunday.