2002 Auburn Soccer
Auburn Tigers (2-0)
September 8, 2002 2 pm
Scouting the Blazers... The UAB Blazers come into Sunday’s game with a 1-1-1 record on the young season with a win over Wyoming 3-0, a 1-1 tie to Hawaii and a 4-2 loss to Vanderbilt. UAB will also rest up after playing a Thursday night game before meeting up with Auburn on Sunday.
Looking Back... Auburn continued its undefeated run as it defeated Furman 2-0 on its home turf. The Tigers were held scoreless in the first half, but turned it up in the second to tally 14 shots and two goals for the win over the Paladins. Sophomore goalkeeper Megan Rivera and head coach Karen Richter returned to the team after being with the world champion U.S. Under-19 team for the past few weeks. Rivera recorded a shutout in her first game back with Auburn.
Looking Ahead... The Tigers will remain at home next weekend as they host Middle Tennessee State on Friday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and South Alabama on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Auburn University Soccer Complex. Head Coach Karen Richter could possibly be going for her 100th career victory against USA on Sunday as she is just three wins shy of the plateau in her tenth season as a head coach.
The Richter File... Karen Richter is in her fourth season at the helm of the Auburn soccer program. She came to Auburn from her alma mater Central Florida where she posted a 64-44-9 record over six seasons. Richter led UCF to five TAAC titles and a trip to the 1998 NCAA Tournament. She holds a 97-72-10 overall mark in this her 10th season as a collegiate head coach. She has led her teams to six double-digit win seasons, including 11 last season with the Tigers. While at Auburn she has posted a 33-28-1 mark, including leading the Tigers to a school record 13-7 record in 2000. In 2001 Richter was named to the United States National Youth Team coaching staff as the goalkeeper coordinator and is currently serving as an assistant coach on the US Under-19 World Championship team at the Junior World Cup.
Six To Go... Head coach Karen Richter is three victories away from her 100th of her coaching career. She earned 64 wins in her six seasons at Central Florida and has 33 victories in four seasons at Auburn. She would become the 50th coach to reach the milestone.
Back This Season... Assisting Karen Richter again this year are assistant head coach Matthew Mott and assistant coach Heather Walker. Mott, a longtime assistant to Richter at Central Florida, made the move with Richter to the Plains from Orlando and begins his fourth season at Auburn. The Central Florida graduate was promoted to assistant head coach following the 2000 season. Mott and his wife Jennifer became proud parents for the first time in July to Matthew Dean Mott, Jr. Welker begins her second season at Auburn. The 1997 Tulsa graduate came to Auburn after stints as assistant coach at Tulane and Memphis.
Over the Airwaves... Auburn soccer made history in 2001 by having matches broadcast live on the radio. The Tigers will be making even more history in 2002 as all but one match will be over the airwaves. Andy Burcham will provide the play-by-play on WAUD 99.9 FM for the games. Auburn was 4-2 in the six matches carried live on the radio last season. The Tigers defeated Vanderbilt, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi and lost at Kentucky and to Florida.
Breaking In... For the first time this season, the Tigers have broken into the top 25. Auburn earned its No. 25 ranking Sept. 3 from Soccer Buzz.
Big Expectations... The Tigers have been voted the top team in the SEC Western Division for the preseason of 2002 by other SEC coaches. Auburn returns eight starters from the 2001 team and adds an impressive freshman class to the lineup this year.
Snell Steps Up In Rivera Absence... Auburn freshman goalkeeper Laura Snell had big shoes to fill in the absence of All-American Megan Rivera, and lived up to the challenge. Snell shut out No. 17 West Virginia 2-0 in her first collegiate start and went on to earn the 3-1 win over Evansville with the one goal coming on a penalty shot. Snell was named the SEC Player of the Week for her efforts and was recently named to the Soccer America Team of the Week and the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week.
Richter and Rivera Make History; U.S. Wins World Championship... Auburn head coach Karen Richter and sophomore goalkeeper Megan Rivera helped make history as part of the first-ever FIFA Under-19 World Championship team from the United States. Richter worked as an assistant coach for the team and Rivera earned a spot on the 18-man roster that went on to win the World Championship title in a 1-0 sudden death overtime win over Canada. The team went undefeated throughout the tournament taking England in the first game 5-1 and shutting out Australia 4-0 and Chinese Taipei 6-0. The US team went on to defeat Denmark 6-0 in the second round and earned a trip to the semifinals where they defeated Germany 4-1. Rivera earned not only SEC Freshman of the Year honors in 2001, but was also named as an All-American and to the All-SEC first team in her rookie year.
Rookie Success...In addition to freshman Laura Snell having so much success in her inaugural weekend with the Tigers, many other AU freshmen are playing a hand in the team’s success. Kristen Stewart has led the way offensively tallying two goals and an assist in just two games while rookies Jessie Allan scored two goals and two assists in three games and Jaqueline Schwarz, Ashley Eason and Jada Stewart each added an assist in the first weekend of play.
Eight Newcomers Join the Tigers...For the 2002 season, eight freshman join the squad that made Auburn’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. Although the team appears young, the Tigers were voted as the top team in the SEC West for the year by other conference coaches.
Rankings... Not only is Auburn ranked as the top team in the SEC West preseason, the Tigers hold the No. 7 spot in the Southeast Region. In the SEC, Auburn earned 10 of the 12 votes to be the No. 1 team in the division. One of the two votes not for the Tigers came from Auburn, as each team is not permitted to vote for their own team.
Co-SEC West Champs... Auburn won a share of the Southeastern Conference Western division title in 2001. The Tigers defeated Alabama 2-1 in overtime on Nov. 2 to earn the share of the school’s first-ever division title in soccer. Auburn shares the title with Mississippi State after MSU scored with nine seconds left in the second overtime on Nov. 2 at Mississippi.
Record Wins... Auburn’s five SEC victories in 2001 ties the school record for conference wins in a season. The Tigers equaled wins of the 1995 team that finished 5-3 in the SEC. The 1995 team defeated Mississippi, Mississippi State, Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama to earn its five victories. In 2001 Auburn got past Tennessee, Arkansas, LSU, Vanderbilt and Alabama.