No. 17 Auburn Defeats No. 22 Ole Miss 2-1 on the Road
October 19, 2003
OXFORD, MS - Sarah Steinmann scored the game-winning goal with 18 minutes remaining as the Tigers defeated Ole Miss, 2-1, in a pivotal SEC matchup. The Auburn soccer team (10-2-3) improved to 3-1-2 in conference action here Sunday afternoon as the Rebels moved to 4-2-0 in SEC play.
"What a great weekend," head coach Karen Hoppa said. "These were our first wins in both places and it is a great feeling. We tinkered with the system a little this weekend and it worked really well. I can't say enough about how the team adjusted. This was a great team victory."
The Tigers got on the board first just over five minutes in when Chrissy Culver dribbled down the right side to the endline. Culver connected with Ronda Brooks on a cross, who was running through the middle as Brooks collected her sixth goal of the season at the 39:15 mark.
Less than 10 minutes later, Ole Miss created an opportunity on a Kristal Menard cross three yards outside of the Auburn goal. An Auburn defender came in to clear the shot and mishandled the ball sending it past AU goalkeeper Megan Rivera to tie the contest at 1-1.
The Rebels outshot Auburn in the first half with seven chances to Auburn's five. Rivera and Ole Miss goalkeeper Brittany Gillespie each had one goal against and one save in the first 45 minutes.
Ole Miss dominated the majority of the shots in the second half, but the Tigers took the 2-1 advantage with 18:01 remaining in the contest. Midfielder Kellie Evans served a long pass from the far side of the mid circle finding Sarah Steinmann down the left side. Steinmann dribbled around three defenders sending a left-footed shot past Gillespie giving Auburn the 2-1 lead.
"This was a good game and a battle for us," Evans said. "It was good to come out on top. Being a senior, I can't explain how excited I am. It is nice to know that we have a lot ahead of us. It is teams like this that prepare you. Now we just have to focus on ourselves."
The Auburn defense came up with an outstanding performance down the stretch as they kept the Rebels from solid chances on goal, saving the 2-1 advantage and win.
"Our defense, I have to give them a lot of credit in this win in they way that they limited Ole Miss' attack. They are a great offensive team and our defense did a great job against them."
Auburn will return home for its final home weekend of the season as the Tigers host Arkansas and LSU on Oct. 24 and 26 respectively. Auburn will honor its seniors in Sunday's matchup with LSU at 2 p.m.