Soccer Opens Season With 3-0 Win Over UAB On The Road
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AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Soccer Opens Season With 3-0 Win Over UAB On The Road

August 29, 2003

Action Rhonda Brooks 082903

 Rhonda Brooks

BIRMINGHAM -- Auburn freshman Ronda Brooks scored two unassisted goals in a 3-0 win over the UAB Blazers (0-1) here Friday night to open the Tigers' season with a win.
       
"I was kind of nervous coming in," Brooks said. "I knew it was a big game, but we trained hard and I knew we were ready. On my first goal, I had a defender to beat so I tried to stay composed. When I scored 'wow' went through my head. I wasn't expecting this as a freshman."
       
The first half started off tough for both teams as UAB and Auburn each had prime opportunities to score including a direct shot by Auburn's Jac Schwarz less than a minute in, and a shot blocked by the cross bar from UAB's Tara Kidwell.
       
The Tigers cashed in on an opportunity in the 26th minute as freshman Lindsay Giblin dribbled past numerous Blazer defenders freeing Jada Stewart down the right side. Stewart then crossed to Sarah Steinmann on the left side, who sent a shot past UAB goalkeeper Julie McFarlane bringing the score to 1-0, Auburn.
       
Just 0:42 later, Auburn tallied another goal as Giblin helped set up the second score of the contest. Giblin sent the ball out from the UAB goal as a large crowd gathered hitting a UAB defender on the way out. The ball came directly to freshman Ronda Brooks, who then sent a strong shot directly into the goal from 10 yards out bringing the score to 2-0 at the half.
       
The second half started off much the same as the first with scoring chances at both ends of the field. Auburn's junior goalkeeper Megan Rivera looked impressive throughout the contest, but came up with an outstanding save with 35:12 remaining in the game. UAB's Jenny Meyer broke through the Auburn defense to send a shot towards the Auburn net, but Rivera had a diving stop.
       
Brooks added to the score on her second goal of the night with 16:35 remaining in the game as the freshman from Marietta, Ga., brought the score to 3-0 with another unassisted goal which developed from an Auburn free kick.
       
With four minutes remaining in the contest, Schwarz looked to have added a fourth Auburn goal, but it was called back due to a foul just outside the box.
       
"We had some jitters to start the game, but we did a great job of denying attacks," head coach Karen Hoppa said. "Megan Rivera had a great game and kept us in it. That is why she is an All-American. She had some unbelievable saves."
       
The Tigers were out-shot by the Blazers 20-to-19 and the Tigers took four corner kicks as compared to two from UAB.
       
Auburn improves to 3-4 all-time vs. the Blazers winning the last three meetings between the teams. The Tigers open the season 1-0 and look forward to their first home matches of the season hosting Southeast Missouri State Friday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. and Illinois Sunday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. at the AU Soccer Complex.