Nov. 13, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Auburn's soccer season came to a disappointing end on Friday night as it dropped a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker to California in the NCAA Tournament First Round at the Seminole Soccer Complex on the campus of Florida State. California netted the game-winner in the 98th minute to send Auburn home, finishing the season with a 10-9-3 record.
"We played great. I don't think the shots (22-12 in favor of Cal) are indicative of the match at all, nor is the score, unfortunately" Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "I thought the second half we completely dominated. We had a goal called back but I thought we really played well. They scored a good goal in overtime and unfortunately that's the way those things go sometimes."
"It was a very even game. They won the first half and we won the second half. It came down to overtime. They made a great play and that's all it takes in overtime is making one great play. It is a tough loss," Auburn sophomore midfielder and First Team All-SEC selection Katy Frierson said.
Lisa Kevorkian netted the game-winner, her eighth goal of the season, finishing off an Alex Morgan cross from five yards out to extend Cal's (11-8-1) season at least until Sunday, where it will play top-seeded Florida State, a 4-1 winner over Southeastern Louisiana in the opening match.
Down 1-0 at the half, Auburn came out clicking on all cylinders at the start of the second period but couldn't light the scoreboard until Heather Havron tied the game at 1-1. Auburn's regular corner kicker on shots from the goalkeeper's right, she bent in a shot in the 59th minute for her first career goal and her eighth point of the season. Mary Coffed earned the corner by taking the ball deep into Cal's 18 and forcing a deflection off of a Cal back to set up Auburn's sixth of nine corners in the match.
"Heather's got a great corner. She is so consistent on them and she just did what she usually does and it went in for us. We had a lot of pressure in the box, a lot of numbers. It was a great goal," Frierson said.
Auburn seemingly took a 2-1 lead of its own in the 85th minute when Katy Frierson sent a corner into the box that Auburn headed in but a foul was whistled on Auburn, nullifying the tally and keeping it tied at a goal apiece. From the 82nd until the 87th minute, Auburn had four quality scoring chances with Coffed putting one on frame that Cal goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini saved, Caitlin King getting a shot blocked and one saves and the nullified goal.
Morgan put the first score on the board when she went 1v1 with Christine Schweer a step inside the 18, driving towards the center of the box before turning and firing in her 14th goal of the season in the games' 32nd minute. The goal came on Cal's eighth shot of the match and the fifth off the foot of Morgan, three of which went on frame. Morgan took six of Cal's nine first-half shots and finished with 10 for the match.
Auburn took six first-half shots forcing Pellegrini into two saves, both coming in the first four minutes of the match as Auburn went on the offensive quickly but came up empty. Chelsea Yauch registered the first shot following a Frierson corner kick in the second minute and then Frierson got off her own shot two minutes later. Steph Fransoso, playing in her first match since Sept. 27 at Ole Miss, put a shot on frame in the 41st minute following a Havron corner but the Cal defense was able to step in front of it on the line, keeping Auburn from scoring the equalizer right before the half.
ADDITIONAL QUOTES FROM THE MATCH
Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa
On the second-half adjustments...
"We regrouped. We had a lot of jitters in the first half and didn't play our best soccer and we were very one-dimensional in our attack. In the second half we added a lot more creativity in our attack. We combined really well and we were running great. We really stuck it to them in the second half but unfortunately just couldn't get that second goal."
On the season as a whole...
"It was a season with a lot of adversity; starting the first game with a red card and we had all kinds of adversity with seniors getting hurt. Rebecca Howell got hurt early in the season, we had a week where the whole team was sick and we canceled practice, losing Steph Fransoso and Lizzie Hamersly, all that adversity created a lot of ups and downs. The thing I am most proud of is they way our team pulled together down the home stretch and played our best soccer. We played quality soccer and got a lot of quality wins, earning the right to get into the NCAA Tournament despite all that adversity. That shows a lot of character."
On the prospects for next year...
"We have quality young players that got a lot of experience this year. On a sad note we are really sorry to lose our six seniors. They have had great careers: four NCAA Tournaments, two SEC West Championships, that is a great career for those six. We are sorry we have to end it on a loss but they have a lot to be proud of in their Auburn career."
Sophomore Midfielder Katy Frierson
On the game as a whole...
"It was a very even game. They won the first half and we won the second half. It came down to overtime. They made a great play and that's all it takes in overtime is making one great play. It is a tough loss."
On Heather Havron's goal...
"Heather's got a great corner. She is so consistent on them and she just did what she usually does and it went in for us. We had a lot of pressure in the box, a lot of numbers. It was a great goal."
On the season as a whole...
"It was an emotional season for us. Down the home stretch we showed that we had character and we played as a team and for one another and that's all you can do."