Auburn Soccer Preview - Tennessee - Georgia Game
#17 Auburn Tigers (12-2-1, 7-0-1)
#8 Tennessee Lady Vols (11-2-2, 8-0-0) * Oct. 22 * 7 p.m.
at Georgia Bulldogs (4-7-4, 2-4-2) * Oct. 24 * 12 p.m. CDT
Auburn captured its fourth consecutive SEC Western Division title Sunday with a 2-1 win over LSU on the road. The Auburn seniors have now won four SEC West titles and one regular season title during their time on the Plains. Friday night, Auburn defeated Arkansas 1-0 off a Courtney Crandell goal with just 1:11 remaining. With the Tigers' 2-1 win at LSU, Auburn improved to 12-2-1 overall and 7-0-1 in the SEC. Seniors Sarah Steinmann and Chrissy Culver are now tied with five goals a piece for Auburn and junior transfers Courtney Crandell and Christie Cigno are close behind with four each. Both weekend Auburn games will be broadcast live on www.auburntigers.com and WZMG 910 AM. Sunday's game at Georgia will be broadcast on FOX Sports South with Bernie Guenther and Jenn Hildreth.
Tennessee clinched the SEC Eastern Division title on Sunday as well with a 1-0 win over Kentucky, moving them to 8-0-0 in league play and 11-2-2 overall. The Keeley Dowling goal was scored with just four seconds remaining in regulation to give the Lady Vols the win. Kayla Lockaby leads the team in scoring with seven goals on the year and Genna Gorman has scored five goals and added four assists. In goal, Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart has played in all 15 games for the Lady Vols giving up 11 goals for a 0.70 goals against average. This season, UT has had impressive games such as a 4-3 overtime win vs. Duke, a 0-0 tie to No. 1 North Carolina for their only non-win of the season to date, and a 2-1 double overtime win over then No. 8 Florida.
Georgia enters the weekend at 4-7-4 overall and 2-4-2 in SEC action. Currently, the Bulldogs are fighting for a spot in the SEC Tournament as they sit in 10th place with three games remaining. The top eight schools will earn a bid. Karen Zmirak leads the team with five goals and five assists and Tricia McKee has scored four goals on the year. Goalkeeper Ashley Lindley has allowed 21 goals (1.43 GAA) and has made 73 saves in her 14 games played. Georgia will play its first road game since Oct. 3 when the Bulldogs travel to Alabama for the Friday night matchup. Sunday's game with Auburn will be back at the Georgia Soccer Stadium and will be a FOX Sports South broadcast.
quoting karen hoppa...
On the weekend...
"Our first big challenge this weekend is to not become complacent with winning the West. We made bigger goals for ourselves this season than winning the West. We are just excited that we have a chance this season to play Tennessee for what looks like will be the SEC Championship."
"Tennessee had a ton of talent and we have a lot of respect for their lineup because they don't have any holes in it. Our challenge is to not make too many mistakes. If you make a mistake against Tennessee, they will make you pay for it."
"Georgia is a scary opponent because they have a lot of ability. On any given night, they can beat any opponent. I think that year in and year out they prove that."
Auburn and Tennessee have played just four times with the Lady Vols holding the 3-1 series advantage. The last time the teams met was a 4-2 UT win in Knoxville on Oct. 4, 2002. Auburn went on to win the SEC Championship with a 6-1-2 record. Georgia also holds the 6-3 series lead over Auburn with the Tigers winning two out of the last three meetings.
The Auburn seniors (Chrissy Culver, Megan Rivera, Sarah Steinmann and Jenn Walters) have put up some pretty impressive stats in their four years on the Plains. Below are some interesting facts:
* Four SEC Western Division titles
* One SEC regular season title
* Three NCAA Tournament appearances
* Five All-America honors
* 10 All-Region honors
* Five All-SEC team honors
* One SEC Player of the Year honor
* One SEC Freshman of the Year honor
* Nine individual school records
* Three SEC individual school records
* Six SEC Player of the Week honors
* Three National Team of the Week honors
* Started 269 of the 285 games they have played in
* 36 Shutouts in 78 games (46 percent of their games are shutouts)
* Given up just 62 goals in 78 games (0.79 GAA)
* Individually, they have scored 53 goals between two forwards and a defender in those 78 games.
For the fourth year in a row, the Auburn soccer team has captured the SEC Western Division title. In the league's history, no other team has won more than two consecutive in the West. In the East, Florida won six consecutive SEC Eastern Division titles from 1996-2001, which is the record.