No. 9 Auburn Soccer Drops First Game Of Season In 2-1 Loss To Rhode Island
Sept. 20, 2002
G Megan Rivera
AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 9-ranked Auburn soccer team (6-1) dropped its first game of the season here Friday afternoon in a 2-1 loss to Rhode Island at the UMass Soccer Classic.
"Rhode Island played hard," Auburn head coach Karen Richter said. "They got their first goal and kept up the pressure from there and kept gaining confidence."
The Tigers got on the board first in the 28th minute as Niki Schier sent an on-target feed up the middle to sophomore Sarah Steinmann, who was charging from the left side. Steinmann beat the Rhode Island goalkeeper, Jamie Epperlein, to the ball and sent the shot low into the goal for her second score of the season.
At 51:40, sophomore Megan Rivera gave up the first Rhode Island goal of the game and Auburn's first non-penalty kick of the season as Melanie Kasparek broke through the Auburn defense for the score. Rivera came out of goal to challenge, but Kasparek got to the ball first to tie up the game.
For the first time all season, the Tigers fell behind at the 57:08 mark, as Kasparek again scored for the Rams. Rivera came out to retrieve the shot, but collided with an AU defender and Rhode Island intercepted the rebound off the Auburn goalkeeper and sent the shot into the empty net to take the 2-1 lead.
With less than nine minutes remaining in the game, Steinmann had an open goal opportunity as Epperlein fell trying to stop a shot, but a Rams' defender stepped in to block the shot. Just seconds later on a Jenny Zarzour corner kick, the Tigers missed a header just wide of the post in an attempt to tie up the game.
The Tigers kept up the pressure at a rapid pace for the remaining minutes of the game, but it was not enough in the end as Auburn dropped its first match of the season in a 2-1 loss to Rhode Island.
"We had our chances at the end, but we just couldn't get it in," Richter said. "We had some defensive miscues, but it is early in the season. This is some adversity that we haven't had to face and it is a good challenge for us as to whether we can come back on Sunday against Umass."
The Tigers will next meet up with Massachusetts on Sunday at 12 p.m. CDT at Rudd Field on the campus of UMass in the UMass Soccer Classic.
1. 27:42 Auburn 13 Sarah Steinmann 15 Niki Schier
2. 51:40 Rhode Island 7 Melanie Kasparek Unassisted
3. 57.08 Rhode Island 7 Melanie Kasparek Unassisted