No. 19 Auburn Clinches Fourth Consecutive SEC Western Division Title With 2-1 Win at LSU

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No. 19 Auburn Clinches Fourth Consecutive SEC Western Division Title With 2-1 Win at LSU

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October 17, 2004

Action - Jessie Allan_101404

 Jessie Allan

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The No. 19-ranked Auburn soccer team (12-2-1, 7-0-1 SEC) captured its fourth consecutive SEC Western Division title here Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 win over LSU (6-9-1, 1-6-1 SEC).
       
"It wasn't pretty and we didn't dominate in the second half like we wanted to, but this team always finds a way to win," head coach Karen Hoppa said. "Now that we have won the West, we can finally look towards our matchup with Tennessee on Friday. That game will be a battle for the SEC title and I hope all the Auburn faithful come out to support us. We need the 12th man in the stands."
       
Auburn took a 2-0 lead into the half with scores from Sarah Steinmann and Christie Cigno. Steinmann put the first goal on the board at the 15:10 mark with an outstanding individual effort. Steinmann dribbled the ball down to the left endline and blocked a clearing attempt by an LSU defender. Steinmann picked up the blocked shot and got off a shot of her own, sending the shot past LSU goalkeeper Robyn DesOrmeaux for the 1-0 lead.
       
"We knew we had to come out hard and that they would too so we focused on winning the 50-50 balls," Steinmann said. "It gets hard to keep your composure because it gets heated out there. We are so glad to come out of here with a win and with the West title."
       
Cigno picked up her fourth goal of the season at the 36:26 mark. Junior forward Jac Schwarz dribbled the ball down the left side and took a shot from just outside the box. DesOrmeaux came out for the save and Cigno headed the ball into the goal for the score and the 2-0 lead heading into the half.
       
"We did a good job of getting two goals in the first half and luckily, that was all we needed," Hoppa said.
       
At the conclusion of the half, the Auburn Tigers had a 10-3 advantage on shots and had taken seven corner kicks to LSU's two.
       
Starting out the second half, Auburn defender Jenn Walters came up with a big stop as it appeared that LSU's Artie Brown was creating a chance. Walters tackled the ball away, keeping Brown from getting a shot off.
       
With 24:30 remaining in the game, Brown created another chance as she dribbled to the left endline and beat two Auburn defenders to get a shot off. The shot sailed over Auburn goalkeeper Megan Rivera for the goal. The Auburn Tigers finished the game out-shooting LSU 16-10 and had 11 corner kicks to LSU's six.
       
"You always have hopes and expectations," senior captain Jenn Walters said about winning four SEC Western Division titles. "But this is unbelievable. We always talk about how we have control over out own destination and Friday night will be another case of that against Tennessee."
       
Auburn will host No. 6 Tennessee Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. for All Auburn All Orange night at the AU Soccer Complex. Tennessee is the only other undefeated team in the SEC with an 8-0-0 league record.