MOBILE, Ala. – Courtney Schell fired a header into the top-right corner of the net to give No. 12 Auburn a 1-0 triumph in overtime at South Alabama on Sunday night. The golden goal was set up by Brooke Ramsier and Casie Ramsier, who combined to find Schell in the middle of the box from a free kick and a pass.
The Tigers (1-1-0) netted their first goal of the season in the 107th minute in the second overtime of a tightly-contested match against the Jaguars (0-1-1).
“It’s always a battle with an in-state rival and it felt good to win,” said Schell.
Auburn and South Alabama were toe-to-toe for the full match. The Tigers held a 22-17 advantage in shots and a drew 16 fouls compared to just 11 committed.
“For us, this is a massive win,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “I’m just really proud of our girls and the effort they showed to just find a way to get out of here with a victory.”
The Tigers and Jaguars battled to a 0-0 score line at the half, with goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau making a pair of 1-on-1 saves at the net. The best chance of the opening 45 minutes came when Bri Folds played through Kristen Dodson for a chance at goal, but the opposing goalie made the save to keep it scoreless.
Auburn came out of the break on the front foot and placed three shots on frame in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
The turning point of the match came when Kiana Clarke held off an attacker before being brought down on a slide tackle by an opposing attacker who was already on a yellow card. She was then sent off on a red card in the 81st minute and forced the Jaguars to play down one player for the rest of the match.
Despite a fury of attacks from the Tigers, they were unable to break the deadlock and went into overtime at 0-0.
After a scoreless opening overtime, Auburn found its footing in the last 10 minutes of play.
Samantha Solaru made an advanced run in the 104th minute and drew a foul 25 yards away from goal. Brooke Ramsier lined up the free kick and found Casie Ramsier, who flicked it onto Schell, who buried it into the back of the net causing jubilation for the Tigers.
“It was the greatest feeling,” said Haley Gerken after watching the ball fly into the top corner. “Last year we had a couple wins in overtime and we call overtime ‘Auburn Time’ and we just manned up and went at it.”
Auburn returns to the pitch on Friday night when it hosts Cal State Fullerton in a non-conference affair. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Auburn Soccer Complex.