Second Half Comeback Lifts Auburn Over Vanderbilt 3-2
October 10, 2003
AUBURN - Auburn’s three second half goals vaulted the Tigers over the Vanderbilt Commodores 3-2 here Friday night as Auburn improved to 8-2-2 on the season.
The Tigers found themselves down 2-0 at the conclusion of the first half when head coach Karen Hoppa had a chance to speak to the team as a whole.
“Basically, I chewed them out because they needed it,” Hoppa said. “Since we are not the underdog this year, there is a tendency to get complacent. That was not acceptable and I felt we could have done much better. I gave them a challenge to come back mentally and they responded.
“I think they really showed their character here tonight. We brought out a new system that we have never even discussed with them and they went after it. I am so proud of them.”
Vanderbilt got on the board first just 16 minutes in when Molly Wilson crossed to Emily Wilpers, who sent in her second goal of the year.
Less than 10 minutes later, the Commodores took a strong 2-0 lead at 24:39 on an unassisted goal by Laura Hershenow.
Entering the half, the Tigers found themselves down 2-0 with shots in favor of Auburn at 3-to-2.
One minute and 12 seconds into the second half, sophomore forward Jac Schwarz put new life into the Tigers scoring off a Kellie Evans direct kick. Schwarz’s goal was her third of the season.
At the 65:56 mark, Sarah Steinmann charged down field drawing defenders while making a hole for freshman Ronda Brooks. Steinmann found Brooks coming up the middle and Brooks made good on her fifth goal of the year from five yards out sending the shot past Vanderbilt goalkeeper Esther Thompson, tying the score at 2-2.
Steinmann again came up big for Auburn with 15 minutes remaining the contest as she dribbled past a defender to get a direct shot from three yards out giving Auburn the 3-2 advantage and the win.
“I think this team showed a lot of character tonight,” senior defender Sandy Carnes said. “A lot of words were said at the half about how we weren’t playing to our potential. We just needed to gather our thoughts and I think everyone responded really well. I am so proud of our forwards to go out there and get three goals.”
Auburn will host Kentucky, the only undefeated team remaining in SEC action, here Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The contest will be broadcast live on SEC-TV on FOX Sports South.