Oct. 24, 2013
Auburn Game Notes (Arkansas-Vanderbilt)
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn Tiger soccer team (4-8-4, 0-5-3 SEC) will play their final two home matches this weekend as they host Arkansas (11-5-0, 4-4-0 SEC) on Friday and Vanderbilt (4-9-3, 1-6-1 SEC) on Sunday. Auburn is still looking for that first SEC victory of the season, but the first one could be crucial if it comes this weekend. The Tigers are currently six points back of the final SEC Tournament slot with three matches remaining in the regular season.
Last weekend at Tennessee and Missouri, freshman Casie Ramsier continued her dominance on the pitch, scoring the Tigers only two goals and helping her team securing two important conference points with double-overtime ties in both matches.
Ramsier currently leads the team with seven goals on the year, and was named SEC Freshman of the Week for her performance. Three of her seven goals have come in conference play and she is responsible for over 20 percent (42) of all of Auburn’s shots in 2013 (198).
“What a year she is having,” Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa said. “With our record, I think she gets overlooked a little bit, but she is dangerous every time she touches the ball. I’m pleased with how she’s playing and she’s getting rewarded for it.”
Hoppa was also pleased with the overall team’s performance last weekend against two quality opponents on the road, and feels that this team is beginning to peak.
“We are playing our best soccer of the year,” Hoppa said. “We could have just packed it in, but we are still in a position where we can get to Orange Beach.”
In order to secure a SEC tournament berth, the Tigers must defeat Arkansas and Vanderbilt this weekend. Coach Hoppa believes that Arkansas will be riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak.
“Arkansas is a great team that is coming off of a two-game winning streak,” Hoppa said. “They are coming in hot.”
The Razorbacks are led by Ashleigh Ellenwood, who has scored 10 goals and tallied six assists on the season. Goalkeeper Cameron Carter has also come up huge for the Razorbacks, posting 50 saves and five shutouts.
The Tigers then host Vanderbilt on Sunday. Coach Hoppa believes that this matchup will test the back line as they Commodores bring in a very potent attack.
“We are going have to play great defense,” Hoppa said. “They have got the best front line in the league. We played great defense all last weekend. Our back line is in total sync right now with Kala Faulkner leading that back line. She’s only a sophomore, but she is one of the best defenders in the league. Alicen Wright has stepped up and played three really good games in a row. We’re just creating chances for ourselves.”
Vanderbilt is led by Cheyna Williams, who has a SEC-leading 15 goals on the season. Freshman Simone Charley has also provided an offensive spark for the Commodores, scoring five goals, good for second on the team, and five assists, which is tied for most on the team.
Friday’s match is set to begin at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s match is set to begin at 2 p.m. The team will honor seniors Bianca Sierra, Maddie Barnes and Kim Spence prior to Sunday’s match for Senior Day.
Fans in attendance are also encouraged to donate to Auburn Soccer’s “Kicks for MS” campaign. The team will be accepting donations at the marketing table just inside the front gate at both matches this weekend. For more info on the “Kicks for MS” campaign, follow the link to the release on AuburnTigers.com.
Fans can listen to this weekend’s action locally on WEGL 91.1 or follow online at AuburnTigers.com for live audio and video.
For complete coverage on the Auburn soccer team, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow @AU_Soccer on Twitter and ‘like’ the Auburn University Soccer page on Facebook.