Allison Whitworth made 12 saves in her final collegiate match
Nov. 16, 2008
AUBURN, Ala. -
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Auburn's soccer season ended Sunday with a 1-0 loss to Florida State in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Women's Soccer Championships. Despite playing a frantic final 15 minutes that looked like it would produce a game-tying goal at the minimum for Auburn, the Tigers end the season with a 12-9-2 record and a second-round loss to Florida State for the third time in program history.
Jessica Price scored the lone goal in the match in the 39th minutes as she was able to slot a shot to Auburn goalkeeper Allison Whitworth's right after nudging past an Auburn defender following an Amanda DaCosta pass. Price made the cut and run following DaCosta's lead into the box and fired from roughly 10 yards out for her first game-winning goal of the season.
"Our defense played really well and our offense did a great job in the second have by keeping the pressure on. The one goal they got wasn't a defensive error, it was more of an offensive error. We turned the ball over right to them and we were still in our offensive shape and then it's a foot race," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said.
Whitworth set an Auburn postseason record with her 12 saves, which was one shy of her career high, and the senior finished the year with 132 saves and 356 for her career, both Auburn records.
"When we played FSU earlier this year, we lost 3-0. Tonight we took it to them and they were sitting on their heels a lot. We just didn't get the breaks that we needed," Whitworth said. "It's been a good season and we finished on a high note in making it to the second round, we just weren't able to obtain our goal. It was a great place to be."
Down 1-0 with time running short in the game and the season, Auburn ramped up its pressure immensely, forcing the Florida State defense to play on its heels for the majority of the final 15. In the 78th minute, Gabi Rivera was able to draw a foul just outside the 18 and but Katy Frierson's free kick over the FSU wall went just inches high over the crossbar.
In the 82nd minute Rivera made a run on a ball into the box that Florida State goalkeeper Kate Milstead came 15 yards off her line to snuff out the scoring chance and then a minute later it was Frierson crossing a ball into the box that Rivera just missed one-touching with a slide near the far post that resulted in a corner.
Auburn was not short on chances in the match despite finishing with just six shots on goal. Just over 10 minutes in Rivera was able to put a shot into Milstead's arms that she was not able to handle cleanly, resulting in a corner kick. Rivera's kick sailed cleanly into the box and ultimately was on the ground in front of Chelsea Yauch but she was unable to pull the trigger into the crowded six and Florida State successfully cleared the ball out.
In the 60th minute Jenni Prescott had a clean look on frame from just outside the 18 but she was not able to settle the ball and instead fired a shot wide right and then two minutes later it was Frierson putting one over the cross bar from the top of the box.
"When I saw that Katie had the ball, she worked so hard to keep that ball," Prescott said. "I was at an awkward angle when I called for it and she passed it. I one-timed it and shanked it. I thought it might have gone in, but it was a little wide."
Florida State also had a number of quality scoring chances in the final 45 as it was able to take 17 of its 26 shots after intermission. Lauren Switzer hit the post in the 65th minute and Casey Short and Tiffany McCarty fired shot after shot at Whitworth from all angles, but each time Whitworth was able to snatch up the FSU scoring chance.
"Florida State forced Whitworth to come up big a couple of times and we didn't (do the same to Milstead). We actually missed the frame and that's when we have to do a better job of making our shots on goal," Hoppa said.
The loss was the third in the second round to Florida State in Auburn history as the Seminoles had previously knocked out the Tigers in 2002 (2-1) and 2003 (2-1 2 OT).
The loss ended the careers of the Auburn senior class of Kori Hoelsher, Kara Kasten, Jenn Johnson and Allison Whitworth. The four helped lead Auburn to three straight NCAA berths, a pair of SEC West Championships and a 41-35-8 record.
Auburn finished the year 12-9-2 while Florida State is 16-2-3 and will play Boston College in the Sweet 16 next weekend.
AUBURN GAME NOTES
- Auburn finished the year 12-9-2, the fifth time it has recorded 12-or-more wins in a season
- Senior goalkeeper Allison Whitworth finished the year with 132 saves and 356 in her career, both Auburn records
- Auburn has been eliminated four times in the second round (2002, '03, '04 and '08) and has been knocked out by Florida State three of those times ('02, '03, '08)
- Auburn was shutout for just the third time in a NCAA Tournament game and is now 4-7-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
- Auburn is 1-8-0 all-time against Florida State and was shutout by the Seminoles for the second time this season after losing 3-0 on Sept. 12 in Auburn.