Oct. 30, 2012
The Auburn soccer team will begin its quest to defend its 2011 Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship on Wednesday at 2:30pm when it plays third-seeded Tennessee in the quarterfinals at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex. Auburn is trying to become the first repeat SEC Tournament Championship since Tennessee won it all in 2002 and 2003.
"Tennessee is a very good team," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "They finished out incredibly strong to finish third in the league and they are a top-15 team in the country. It's a big match-up. We are hungry for this rematch."
Auburn (11-9-0) goes into the tournament as the sixth seed after going 7-6-0 in league play and finishing second in the SEC West. This marks the first time Auburn is the sixth seed since the 2009 tournament and the fifth time overall (2001, 2005, 2006 and 2009) and the club has gone 5-4-0 when playing as the sixth seed. Two of Auburn's four SEC Tournament Championship appearances came as the No. 6 seed (2001 and 2005).
"We learned how to win (in the postseason) at the SEC Tournament last year, and that's something our program had struggled with," Hoppa said. "We will take that experience but we cannot rely on that. We can't think that because it happened last year it will happen this year and that's critical. We have to put last year behind us and really focus on what this team does well."
Auburn will be trying to exact revenge on Tennessee (14-4-2, 9-3-1 SEC) after losing to the then No. 25 Volunteers, 1-0, on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Auburn.
"This is absolutely a game that could put us into the NCAA Tournament," Hoppa said.
The winner of the Auburn-Tennessee match will face the winner of the Texas A&M-South Carolina match at 4pm CT on Friday.
Wednesday's match will air live on the SEC Digital Network while Friday's match will air live on ESPN3.com.
Follow Auburn Soccer on twitter @AU_Soccer.