Auburn Opens Spring Season With 2-1 Win Over Georgia Bulldogs
February 26, 2005
AUBURN -- In their first game of the spring season, the Auburn Tigers defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 2-1 here Friday night, in a tough SEC battle that led to a sudden victory goal in double overtime.
The first half of regulation was an equal battle between the two teams, as both were trying to get their rhythm back in their first spring game. Both the Tigers and the Bulldogs created dangerous chances, but it was Auburn who capitalized first.
In the 17th minute, sophomore Ronda Brooks headed a corner kick past Georgia goalkeeper Beth Klueter. The corner kick came from sophomore Jada Stewart, who earned the Tigers' first corner kick of the night.
Georgia answered back in the second half with a header from sophomore Randi-Lynn Bruso off a free kick from the sideline. The header found its way past Auburn freshman goalkeeper Allison Whitworth into the side netting.
The end of regulation time found the Tigers and Bulldogs tied at one a piece sending the match into overtime. The overtime served as a reminder to the two teams who had gone into overtime with each other in the fall season.
The first overtime remained scoreless as each team had difficulty creating chances near the goal. The second overtime proved differently. Both teams saw more looks at the goal, but once again it was the Tigers who finished their chance first. With only 2:21 remaining on the clock, sophomore Kristin Stewart was tripped up in the Georgia box, leading to a penalty kick called in Auburn's favor.
Junior Courtney Crandell was called upon to shoot the penalty kick. "All I was thinking was that I wanted to end the game right here, right now."
Crandell struck the ball into the left-hand corner of the goal to win the game for the Tigers, 2-1.
"I was really pleased with how the team played for the first time back,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “We have a brand new team out there after losing the four seniors. We started off slowly, but played better and better as the game went on, which is really important in the spring season.
"We're very optimistic about next year after seeing our off-season training and the game tonight. We are confident in the talent and ability that this team has."
Auburn will return to the field Saturday, March 5 at 10 a.m. vs. Samford and 12 p.m. vs. Birmingham Southern. Both matches will be in Auburn at the Auburn Soccer Complex and are free to the public.