October 15, 2004
Auburn dominated the contest as they finished the game with 22 shots, to Arkansas' three and took 10 corner kicks, while the Lady Razorbacks had none.
"From the bench, it looked like the game was being played in slow motion in front of the goal," head coach Karen Hoppa said. "We did a great job of persevering and Courtney was patient and came up huge for us."
In the first half, Auburn got off to a slow start, but soon picked up the pace as they out-shot the Lady Razorbacks eight to two with three corner kicks to Arkansas' none.
Auburn came out strong in the second and had numerous solid chances, dominating possession. With just over 33 minutes remaining in regulation, Auburn had three consecutive chances off a corner kick including a shot by Jenny Zarzour that hit the cross bar.
Ten minutes later, the Tigers had two more chances as Kristin Stewart caught goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver out of the goal and took a shot from three yards out, but a Lady Razorback defender blocked the shot. Christie Cigno picked up the rebound and took another shot from two yards out before Arkansas collected the ball.
With just 2:24 remaining in the game, Auburn had a scare as Ali Harter had a break away and got a shot off just inside the box. Megan Rivera made an excellent save and kept the game at 0-0.
"Megan's save gave a huge spark to the team," Hoppa said. "She played it perfectly -- waited the right amount of time, and that is why she is an All-American."
"She really saved us and that is why we have her back there," said sophomore defender Ronda Brooks. "She had an outstanding save. We played well the entire game and had great chances, so we were glad to come away with the win."
It appeared as the game would be sent into overtime, but persistence by the Auburn offense gave the Tigers the win with 1:11 remaining in regulation. Junior forward Courtney Crandell grabbed a rebound off a Arkansas defender and dribbled in for a closer shot. From about 10 yards out, Crandell sent a shot into the top left corner for the 1-0 win.
"We were getting frustrated, but we kept our heads and stayed in the game," Crandell said. "I got the ball at the top of the 18 and I tried to take some touches and get closer and I was able to get a shot off."
"Arkansas really played well and defended us perfectly," Hoppa said. "They were very organized."
Auburn will head to Baton Rouge for a 2 p.m. matchup with LSU on
Sunday. With at least a tie at LSU, Auburn can clinch at least a share
of the SEC Western Division title.