April 24, 2013
The Auburn soccer team will play seven NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago as head coach Karen Hoppa released the 2013 schedule. A 2012 Second Round participant itself, Auburn will play 11 home games and eight away games in Karen Hoppa's 15th season at Auburn.
"The 2013 schedule is very tough," Hoppa said. "With an 11 game conference schedule, it allowed us to play a couple more non-conference games. We are especially excited about Long Beach State coming to town and we have some great SEC home games like Texas A&M and Kentucky. We are looking forward to another exciting soccer season."
The 21st season in program history begins on Saturday, Aug. 17, when Memphis (10-8-1 in 2012) comes to Auburn for an exhibition match. The following weekend Auburn will play a pair of ACC teams to start the regular season, facing Clemson (6-10-2) at home on Friday, Aug. 23 before heading to 2012 National Semifinalist Florida State (20-4-0) on Sunday, Aug. 25. Auburn will then play at in-state rival Samford (11-7-2) on Friday, Aug. 30.
September begins with four straight home non-conference matches, beginning with Mercer (13-5-3) on Friday, Sept. 6, and Troy (9-10-2) on Sunday, Sept. 8. The following weekend Auburn will play host to the College of Charleston (7-12-1) on Friday, Sept. 13, and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Long Beach State (12-8-0) on Sunday, Sept. 15.
Southeastern Conference play begins on Friday, Sept. 20 when Auburn welcomes 2012 NCAA Tournament Second Round participant Kentucky (14-7-1, 8-4-1 SEC) to the Auburn University Soccer Complex. In new wrinkle to the schedule, Auburn will then play Southern Miss (4-12-1) in non-conference action on Sunday, Sept. 22 at home.
The end of September brings a full slate of SEC play and Auburn's first full road trip of the season. Auburn will play at South Carolina (7-10-4, 3-7-3 SEC) on Friday, Sept. 27 and at Ole Miss (13-9-0, 5-8-0 SEC) on Sunday, Sept. 29.
Auburn will play eight SEC matches in October, beginning with a split weekend against the two divisional champions from a year ago. Auburn will play host to Texas A&M (19-5-1, 10-2-1 SEC) on Friday, Oct. 4 and then head to Florida (19-5-1, 11-2-0 SEC) on Sunday, Oct. 6. Along with winning the SEC divisions, both teams played in the third round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Auburn will next play host to Georgia (7-11-2, 3-8-2 SEC) on Friday, Oct. 11 in its only match of the weekend.
The home stretch begins with a pair of road matches, playing at Tennessee (14-5-3, 9-3-1 SEC) on Friday, Oct. 18 and at Missouri (14-7-1, 8-5-0 SEC) on Sunday, Oct. 20. Both teams played in last year's NCAA Tournament. Auburn then returns home to face Arkansas (9-10-1, 6-6-1 SEC) on Friday, Oct. 25 and Vanderbilt (5-10-5, 2-7-4 SEC) on Sunday, Oct. 27, before closing out the year on Thursday, Oct. 31 at Alabama (8-9-2, 3-8-2 SEC) in the annual Iron Bowl of Soccer matchup.
Missing from Auburn's schedule from the conference are LSU and Mississippi State.
Auburn is 164-111-24 (.589) under the direction of Karen Hoppa and has played in 11 NCAA Tournaments, including each of the last seven, advancing to the second round six times. The program has also claimed seven SEC Western Division championships.
Auburn will have to replace six seniors off of last year's team, including starting goalkeeper Amy Howard (387 career saves, 1.21 career goals against average), starting forward Mary Coffed (17 goals, 22 assists, 56 points), starting midfielders Ana Cate (15 goals, 10 assists, 40 points) and Jessica Rightmer (four goals, two assists, 10 points) and starting defender Mary Nicholson (86 matches played) along with reserve Jessica Wolfe.
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