(7-4-5, 4-1-4 SEC) vs. (10-6-1, 5-3-1 SEC)
|Thursday, Oct. 26||8 p.m.|
|Auburn at Vanderbilt|
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn soccer team (7-4-5, 4-1-4 SEC) caps off the regular season with a road contest against Vanderbilt (10-6-1, 5-3-1 SEC) Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn. Kickoff at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT.
The match will be aired live on SEC Network, and Mike Watts and Kristine Lilly will have the call from the broadcast booth.
SEC Tournament seeding is up for grabs on the final day of the regular season as Auburn enters the match tied for fourth with Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The Tigers hold the tiebreaker against the Volunteers and Commodores based on points against common opponents and will earn a first-round bye with a result against Vanderbilt or an Arkansas tie or loss against Tennessee.
Auburn holds a 10-6-4 record in the all-time series with Vanderbilt. The Tigers have not only defeated the Commodores in seven of the last 10 meetings, but have also earned a result in 10 straight.
Auburn punched its ticket to the SEC Tournament for the 16th straight season under head coach Karen Hoppa with a 2-2 draw at Ole Miss last Thursday.
Coming off a shutout vs. LSU, the Auburn defense ranks tied for second in the league in shutouts (five) during conference play, matching a single-season record in the category. The D-Team allowed just one goal in its first four SEC games, marking the first time since 2004 and second time in program history the Tigers had accomplished the feat.
Senior forward Kristen Dodson continues to climb a number of career records including goals (29), assists (27), points (85), and game-winning goals (10). Five of her team-high eight goals this season have come in the Tigers’ last seven matches.
Auburn went 9-2-0 in SEC play a season ago and finished second in the league. The Tigers are 20-7-5 against conference foes over the last three seasons. That mark includes a 12-3-1 record at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
With the NCAA Selection Show scheduled for Nov. 6, Auburn currently ranks No. 19 in the RPI. The Tigers are looking to make their fourth straight and 15th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament under Hoppa.
Auburn is 103-76-24 all-time in October. The Tigers have netted 352 goals (1.73 per match) and allowed 270 (1.33 per match). Over that span, Auburn has secured 74 shutouts, including 59 under Hoppa.
Vanderbilt is also safely in the SEC Tournament and continues to jockey for tournament seeding in the final match of the regular season.
The Commodores have played four straight ranked opponents and are 1-3-0 during the stretch. The team suffered 3-0 losses to Florida and South Carolina and went on to defeat Tennessee, 2-1, before falling to Texas A&M by the same margin.
Forward Simone Charley leads the team with four goals, five assists and 13 points this season, while freshman Olivia Simmons ranks second in each category and has earned a pair of SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
Player to Watch: Sarah Le Beau
Le Beau is coming off her seventh shutout of the season and 20th of her three-year career last Sunday vs. LSU. With one more shutout, Le Beau will not only set a new career high in the category, but the Tigers will also set a SEC single-season program record. The redshirt junior’s 20 career shutouts are fourth most in program history and just two shy of a tie for second all-time. She also ranks third in program history in goals against average (1.05).
The SEC Tournament then begins Sunday, Oct. 29 in Orange Beach, Ala. Depending on the result Thursday night, the Tigers will begin postseason play either Sunday or Tuesday, Oct. 31.