Auburn Soccer at Arkansas, LSU Preview


2002 Auburn Soccer

Auburn Tigers (11-3-0, 3-1-0)


Arkansas (5-10-0, 1-3-0) • Oct. 18• 7:00 p.m. CDT

LSU (10-2-1, 2-1-1) • Oct. 20 • 2:00 p.m. CDT

Complete PDF of Release

Scouting the Lady Razorbacks... Auburn travels to Fayetteville for a meeting with an Arkansas team that is 5-10 overall and has a 1-3 SEC record with a 2-1 overtime win over South Carolina.  The Lady Razorbacks fell to AU's last weekend opponents Miss. State (0-3) and Ole Miss (1-2).  Arkansas' top offensive performer is junior forward Julie Williford, who has more than doubled the next scorer with 10 goals and three assists on the season.  In goal should be Lindsay Haywood, who holds a 4-5 record (1.53 GAA), but Megan Bals has also picked up decent playing time with 540 minutes logged on the year.

Scouting the Tigers... LSU's record of 10-2-1 on the season includes and undefeated record of 5-0 at home.  The Tigers suffered a surprising 0-2 loss to Florida last weekend and hold a 2-1-1 conference record heading into the weekend.  Mandy Heintz has scored an astounding 20 goals already on the season with a shooting percentage of .339.  With eight game-winning goals, Heintz has all but carried her team to those 10 wins.  The LSU defense is perhaps their strongest area, however, as the Tigers have allowed just seven goals on the season including seven shutouts.  Goalkeeper Robyn DesOrmeaux has started in every game but one for LSU earning a 0.62 goals against average and only having to make 28 saves in 12 games.

Looking Back... Auburn moved to the top of the SEC west last weekend defeating Mississippi State 2-0 and Ole Miss 3-1.  The Tigers' Sara Power earned both game-winning goals on the weekend and added another goal and an assist.  For her efforts, the sophomore was named not only SEC Player of the Week, but also to the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week and the Soccer America Team of the Week.

Looking Ahead... Auburn will be back home to face South Carolina Friday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 pm and Florida Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2 pm at the AU Soccer Complex.  The matches will be the final home weekend of soccer for Auburn as Alabama comes to town to close out the regular season with a Thursday meeting on Nov. 1.

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 105-75-10 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 41-31-1 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.

Feel the Power... Sophomore midfielder Sara Power broke out last weekend against Miss State and Ole Miss scoring two game-winning goals and adding another goal and an assist.  Power was named the SEC Player of the Week on Oct. 14 and was also awarded with the SOccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week and the Soccer America Team of the Week.  Power now leads the team in goals with six on the year.

Back on Top... The Tigers are trying to match or surpass their succes from the 2001 season where they were Co-Sec Western Division Champions and earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament.  So far, the Tigers are in first place in the SEC West and are tied for the best record in the league.

Re-writing the Record Book... Sophomore goalkeeper Megan Rivera has already broken the career shutouts record with 12 shutouts in less than two years on the Plains. Rivera has totaled six shutouts so far this season and split one with freshman Laura Snell. In 2001, Rivera picked up six shutouts.

On the Tube... Oct. 6 at Georgia, the Tigers made their first TV appearance of the season as they took on the Bulldogs. Auburn defeated Georgia 1-0 in a live broadcast on FOX Sports South.

Banner Unveiled... Against Miss State, the Tigers' banner celebrating their 2001 SEC Western Division Co-Champion title was displayed for the first time at the AU Soccer Complex. The title is the first in Auburn soccer history.

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 eight shutouts and only 11 goals scored all season. However, the Tiger keepers have only had to face 56 shots on goal in 14 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, Kellie Evans and a few other Tigers, who have stepped up play defensively this season. Because of that defensive pressure, Auburn has out-shot opponents 209-109 and have out-scored opponents 36-11.

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 have recently fallen out of the top 25 in all polls.

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. Sophomore Sarah Steinmann leads the team in scoring with five goals and seven assists. Sara Power leads the team in goals with six and has added three assists.  Culver is close behind with five 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 0.78 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 12 of the team’s 36 goals. Leading the freshmen is Kristen Stewart, who has scored three goals and assisted on seven and Jaqueline Schwarz has scored four goals and assisted on four.  Jessie Allan has 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.