Auburn Soccer Blanks West Virginia in Season Opener
August 30, 2002
AUBURN - The Auburn soccer team opened the 2002 season Friday night with a convincing 2-0 win over 17th-ranked West Virginia. A crowd of 913, the ninth largest in Auburn soccer history, was on hand at the Auburn Soccer Complex to witness the victory.
“Our goal was to come out and put a lot of pressure and smother them defensively, and we did that,” assistant head coach Matt Mott said, who filled in for head coach Karen Richter who is currently coaching the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team.
Freshman goalkeeper Laura Snell collected a shutout in her collegiate debut, finishing with seven saves. Snell, one of five freshmen to start for the Tigers Friday, filled in for Megan Rivera, who is currently playing for the same U.S. Under-19 National Team.
“Laura settled down mid-way through the first half and did a fantastic job,” Mott said. “She had two outstanding saves on break-aways that helped preserve the win.”
Auburn broke a scoreless tie in the 35th minute of the first half when Jenn Walters lofted the ball into the box, where Sarah Power scored on an open goal after West Virginia’s Melissa Haire failed to collect the ball.
In the 69th minute of the second half, freshman Kristen Stewart scored her first collegiate goal after Kellie Evans sent in a low cross, which freshman Jessie Allan flicked to a wide open Stewart to give Auburn a 2-0 lead.
“Our depth really showed tonight,” Mott said. “We were able to rest some of our starters and we got a chance to see some of our younger players in action.”
Auburn returns to action Sunday, when it hosts Evansville at the Auburn Soccer Complex. Match time is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.