Auburn Soccer Preview - South Carolina & Florida
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AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Auburn Soccer Preview - South Carolina & Florida

Scouting Auburn...
The Tigers found themselves in unfamiliar territory Sunday after their 1-0 double overtime loss to No. 6 Kansas. Auburn lost its first game at the AU Soccer Complex since another 1-0 loss to Georgia on Oct. 7, 2001. Since that game, Auburn had held a 23-game streak without a loss (21-0-2). The Tigers also lost their first back-to-back games since the 2002 season when they fell to Arizona State (0-1) and Tennessee (2-4). Auburn, however, went on to win the SEC title that season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers are now 5-2-0 on the year as they prepare for SEC play. 

Scouting South Carolina...
South Carolina is coming off two impressive wins, including a 2-0 victory over Clemson and a 2-1 win over Charlotte. The Gamecocks now stand at 6-3-0 on the year with their three losses coming at James Madison (2-3, 2OT), vs. Maryland (2-5) and at No. 5 Virginia (2-5). Ashley Williams leads the team in scoring with six goals on the year, followed by Sarah Lentz, who has scored three goals. Goalkeepers Laura Armstrong and Lindsay Thorstenson have split time in goal, each playing over 400 minutes. The duo has given up 16 goals to date for a 1.70 goals against average. Head coach Shelley Smith is in her fourth season with the Gamecocks and holds a 37-24-8 record.

Scouting Florida...
Florida enters the weekend holding a 6-1-1 record and an impressive No. 4 ranking in the latest polls. The Gators have defeated three ranked teams this season including No. 3 Florida State (2-1), No. 18 Duke (5-1) and No. 24 Rutgers (1-0). Florida's only loss of the season came to No. 1 North Carolina (0-3) on the road. The Gators are led offensively by 2003 SEC Player of the Year Stephanie Freeman, who has scored seven goals and assisted on one this season. Ashley Kellgren and Christine Johnson have each scored four goals for the Gators. UF Goalkeeper Brittni Goodwin  has given up 10 goals in six games played, but the Florida offense has helped out by scoring 21 goals on the year. Goalkeeper Jen Gardner has played in the last two games for the Gators
and has shutout both teams, holding opponents scoreless in her 180:00 minutes in goal.

Quoting Karen Hoppa...
"We are very excited to start SEC play. We know that the two tough losses we have had are helping to prepare us for SEC play. Things don't get any easier from here and we are starting a new season on Friday."

On South Carolina...
"South Carolina has had an unbelievable non-conference, which was highlighted by their win over Clemson. They are so good defensively and we always have trouble with them. Our seniors have never beat South Carolina and that is something that they are looking at."

On Florida...
"The last two years our games have been classic battles. At home two years ago, we beat them 1-0 to win the SEC regular season title and last year in Gainesville, they won in overtime. So we have gotten to the point that we expect nothing less than a terrific game when we get together."