2002 Auburn Soccer
No. 20 Auburn Tigers (7-1)
Tennessee (6-3-0) • Oct. 4 • 6:00 p.m. CDT
Georgia (4-5-1) • Oct. 6 • 2:30 p.m. CDT
Complete PDF of Release
Scouting the Lady Vols... Tennessee enters the weekend with a 6-3 overall record and a No. 18 ranking in both Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times in the latest rankings. The Lady Vols are coming off two losses to No. 2 Stanford (0-2) and No. 7 Santa Clara (1-2 OT), but had put together a six-game win streak before that including a 2-0 win over No. 12 Clemson. Leading the team offensively is Kim Patrick, who has scored six goals and assisted on three this season. Setting up the most goals this year has been Rhian Wilkinson with eight assists. Goalkeeper Ellen Dean has earned the majority of the playing time with just nine goals against and 29 saves.
Scouting the Bulldogs... Georgia enters the weekend 4-5-1 after earning a big win over No. 22 Duke at home. The Bulldogs have had a tough schedule this season suffering losses to No. 14 Clemson (2-3 OT), No. 16 Wake Forest (1-3), No. 8 Connecticut (2-3), UAB (2-3) and defeated No. 9 Michigan 1-0. Offensively, Tricia McKee leads the team with seven goals and no assists and has taken 29 shots this season. In goal, Ashley Lindley has started every match and has 16 goals against with 53 saves.
Looking Back... Auburn was shutout for the first time this season in a 1-0 Arizona State win in Athens, Ga. The Tigers out-shot the Sun Devils, but could not capitalize on a chance. Last Friday, however, Auburn defeated New Mexico 2-0 at home with Sarah Steinmann and Kristen Stewart picking up the goals.
Looking Ahead... The Tigers will be back at home for SEC matches with Mississippi State and Ole Miss on Oct. 11 and Oct. 13 respectively. Gametime for Friday is set at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be live on WAUD 1230 AM.
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 102-74-10 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 38-30-1 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 which won the Junior World Cup in September 2002.
100!!!... Head coach Karen Richter reached the 100th victory of her coaching career at home against South Alabama on Sept. 15 in a 4-0 victory. Richter earned 64 wins in her six seasons at Central Florida and has 38 victories in four seasons at Auburn. She has 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 is in 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 is in 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 1230 AM for the games and Chuck Gallina will provide color commentary for home matches. 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.
Injury Report... The Tigers have suffered two major losses this season as freshman Jada Stewart will sit out the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to her foot due to a broken bone. Just recently, in the 2-0 win over New Mexico, freshman Ashley Willis suffered a fracture to her tibia as she was tackled by a UNM player late in the game. Her return to the field is still to be determined.
De-Fense... Auburn’s goalkeepers have looked outstanding this season with six shutouts and only six goals scored all season. However, the Tiger keepers have only had to face 40 shots on goal in 10 games. That includes just one shot on goal for sophomore goalkeeper Megan Rivera against South Alabama Sept. 15. The reason? Ashley Eason, Jen Walters, Sandy Carnes, Erin Hinson and a few other Tigers, who have stepped up play defensively this season. Because of that defensive pressure, Auburn has out-shot opponents 167-75 and have out-scored opponents 28-6.
Where We Rank... After pulling out to a 6-0 record on the season, the Tigers were recognized for their accomplishments by earning a highest-ever No. 9 ranking in the Sept. 16 Soccer Buzz top 25 rankings. The Tigers are currently sitting at No. 15 in the latest rankings by the magazine. Soccer Buzz also ranked Auburn as the No. 3 team in the Southeast Region behind North Carolina and 8-0 Wake Forest, which is arguably the toughest region in the country. The Tigers are currently ranked just outside the top 25 in Soccer America and Soccer Times.
No Sophomore Slump Here... The Auburn sophomores have stepped up their play in their second season for the Tigers leaving no chance of a sophomore slump in 2002. Sophomores Chrissy Culver and Sarah Steinmann lead the team in scoring with five goals and two assists for Culver and four goals and four assists for Steinmann. Midfielder Sara Power is close behind in scoring with three goals and two assists on the year. On defense, Jen Walters is a mainstay for the team and has also contributed to the scoring with two goals and four assists. In the goal, goalkeeper Megan Rivera is coming off a World Championship title with the U.S. Under-19 team, which won at the start of Sept. Rivera has posted four shutouts already this season and has earned a 0.53 goals against average in eight games.
Rookie Success...This season, the Tigers have been impressed with their freshmen output. So far in 2002, the freshman class has scored 11 of the team’s 28 goals. Leading the freshmen is Kristen Stewart, who has scored three goals and assisted on six and rookies Jaqueline Schwarz and Jessie Allan have scored three times on the season and assisted on three more. Freshman goalkeeper Laura Snell earned a shutout in her first collegiate start and held Evansville to a 3-1 score with the only goal coming on a penalty kick. For her efforts, she was named the SEC Player of the Week as well as being named to the Soccer America and Soccer Buzz teams of the week.
Big Expectations... The Tigers have been voted the top team in the SEC Western Division for the preseason of 2002 by other SEC coaches. 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. 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.
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 and are off to their best start in school history at 7-1.
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.