Nov. 16, 2007
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -
Auburn played a strong all-around game but could not find a way to get one past Central Florida goalkeeper Jennifer Manis until there was just 2:16 left in the match while Central Florida's Becca Thomas netted a pair of goals on the night as Auburn fell, 3-1, in the first round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament on Friday evening at Pressly Stadium at the University of Florida. Both of Thomas' goals came within the first 10 minutes of each half.
Auburn finished the match by outshooting UCF 19-11 and took eight corners to Central Florida's three but could not put the numbers up where it mattered, in the score column.
"Soccer is a real frustrating game. To dominate the way we did, especially in the first half, but to give up two first-half chances that both resulted in goals for Central Florida is frustrating," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "You have to give (Jennifer) Manis and all of Central Florida a lot of credit. She is carrying on the tradition of great goalkeepers at UCF and did a fantastic job of keeping us off the board."
Thomas' first goal came off of a free kick from 23 yards out after a foul by Lizzie Hamersly just 9:06 into the match. With a wall in front of her, Thomas blasted a shot over the wall and through an Allison Whitworth save for a 1-0 lead. Whitworth made the original save only to have the ball deflect up from her save to the crossbar and ricochet back down behind her.
Thomas scored her second goal of the match and fourth of the season just 3:28 after halftime as she blistered a shot upper 90 from the top of the 18 off of a feed from Brianna Schooley to make it 3-0 Central Florida.
Amanda Martorana had made is 2-0 Central Florida just moments before halftime with her first goal of the season as her shot to the corner off of a Danielle dos Santos pass beat Whitworth at the 42:14 mark.
Auburn outshot Central Florida nine to four in the first half, but none of Auburn's four shots on frame found its way past Manis. Caitlin King, Hamersly, Rebecca Howell and Kori Hoelscher all put balls on frame but none could light the scoreboard for Auburn.
In the second half, Howell just missed getting Auburn on the board in the 93rd minute as her shot hit the far post and bounced out but it was King who kept Auburn from getting shutout as her shot from 20 yards out finally beat Manis for her fifth goal of the season.
"I wish my goal would have come earlier and we would have more of them," King said. "I got a great ball from Becca (Howell) and got a good touch off of it."
Manis finished with nine saves while Whitworth had three saves.
King finished the season by earning a point in each of the final three matches. Her 23 points this season (five goals, 13 assists) ranks in a three-way tie for eighth in Auburn's single-season records.
"Everyone played really hard. It was a well-played and hard-fought game that just didn't go our way this time," Auburn co-captain Kara Kasten said.
Auburn finished its season 10-8-2 while Central Florida improved to 15-4-3 and will face the winner of the Florida-Miami match in the second round at 1pm ET on Sunday.