October 1, 2004 Chrissy Culver
“Vandy did a great job of finishing their opportunity,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “We had great shots and great opportunities, but we just couldn’t put them in. Vanderbilt put a lot of numbers back in the box so we had to deal with that. The SEC went to a points system this year, so we couldn’t afford to come out of this game with no points, especially with how dominating we were.”
In the first half, the Tigers dominated play with five shots and three corner kicks, but could not get the ball past Vandy goalkeeper Tyler Griffin in the first 45 minutes. The Commodores had two shots and no corner kicks in the half, but no good chances as Auburn retained possession of the ball throughout most of the half.
The second half was just as dominant by the Tigers, but the Commodores had a chance at the 73:11 mark as Meghan Habig sent a shot into the left side of the goal, past Megan Rivera.
The Tigers weren’t finished, however, as Chrissy Culver picked up a ball from Ronda Brooks and sent a hard shot from 10 yards out with just under three minutes remaining in regulation. The shot sailed past Griffin to even the score at 1-1.
“We picked up our level of intensity after Vanderbilt scored,” said Culver. “They put a lot of numbers back so we felt like we could pressure more. Ronda had a good header and I just picked up the ball and got the shot off.”
In the first overtime, neither team tallied a shot, but play was again controlled by the Tigers as the Commodores played for a tie. The second overtime saw Auburn step up their offensive play as it got three shots in the period. Courtney Crandell had the best chance as with one minute remaining in the game, she had a good look, but hit the post with a hard shot. The rebound came back to Crandell and she got off another shot that was stopped by Griffin.
“Courtney hit the ball so hard I think the cross bar is still shaking,” Hoppa said. “She had a perfect upper 90 shot because it hit right at the cross bar and post. It rebounded back to her so fast that I think it surprised her. If she would have been ready for it, she could have taken her time and gotten a great shot off.”
Shots in the game stood at 18-6 in favor of the Tigers and Auburn had eight corner kicks to Vanderbilt’s two on the night.
Auburn continues its road trip as the Tigers travel to Kentucky for a 1 p.m. CDT match in Lexington on Sunday.