GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Auburn matched its best offensive performance in the NCAA Tournament in program history when it took down UConn 4-1 in the second round of the postseason tournament. The Tigers (16-6-0) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season with the win.
“I’m really proud of my team’s performance today,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “UConn is a tremendous team and had an unbelievable season. They have two of the best goal scorers in the country. I thought they gave us all we could handle.
“I thought our defense was tremendous. We started slow and UConn scored a great goal. I thought the difference for us in the game was Kristen’s goal. We started out flat, we gave up the goal and with Kristen getting that goal back within four minutes I thought that gave our team the confidence to persevere. We’re really excited that we live to play another day.”
UConn (19-3-1) scored the match’s opening goal before a minute had even gone by to take the early 1-0 lead.
Things then began to click for Auburn. Dodson took a lofted pass from Casie Ramsier and Gutsche before slotting it to the near post for the equalizer in the fifth minute.
“I just saw an opportunity,” stated Dodson. “[The goalie] was covering the far post a little bit more than the near post, so I thought I had a chance to slide it by her and I did. I just thought we needed some momentum, so getting that goal right away after they scored just helped us get to where we needed to be.”
After just entering the match for a few moments in the 39th minute, Montini then put the Tigers in front with her first career goal when she fired a header into the back of the net off a corner.
Less than two minutes later, Brooke Ramsier doubled Auburn’s advantage. The Dallas, Texas native put her laces through a shot from the top of the box and found the top corner of the left post that rocked the frame.
The Tigers led 3-1 at that point and maintained the margin heading into the intermission.
The Huskies came out with a sense of urgency in the second half, putting a pair of shots on target. However, goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau was able to keep UConn off the board and even made a full-extension save from close range.
Folds then added to the goal barrage by netting the fourth of her career in the 71st minute. The freshman took a feed from Casie Ramsier and Dodson and smashed a shot by the keeper from the top of the box.
The Tigers held on in the final 20 minutes and advanced to their second NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in program history.
“I thought everyone who came on really gave it their all,” said Montini. “No matter if you’re on the bench or on the field, everyone’s fighting for each other that way. That’s what this team is all about. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone.”
After totaling four points on the day, Dodson set the Auburn single-season program record for points with 36. She surpassed Tammy Waine’s total of 35 that was set in 2000.
The Tigers will await the winner of the Florida-Wisconsin match for a Sunday showdown at 1 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.