Oct. 30, 2013
Auburn Game Notes (Alabama)
Alabama Game Notes
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Auburn University soccer team (6-8-4, 2-5-3 SEC) will go on the road tomorrow for its final match of the regular season as it will compete in the “Iron Bowl of Soccer” against Alabama (6-11-0, 4-6-0 SEC) in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with first kick coming at 7 p.m.
Auburn is on a two-match winning streak after defeating Arkansas (3-1) and Vanderbilt (2-1) last weekend for its first two conference victories of the year. Those two matches proved critical for the Tigers to keep their hopes alive of making the SEC Tournament field for the 13th consecutive year.
“To have a chance to go to our conference tournament in Orange Beach is we have to beat Alabama,” Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa said. “It’s going to be no easy task. We can’t worry about all the other matches. We can just worry about what we need to do in Tuscaloosa. We’ve climbed out of the hole and now we get to play in the Iron Bowl with huge ramifications as it usually has in the past. We’re really excited about the opportunity.”
Auburn currently holds the series lead with the Crimson Tide, 12-7-2. Last season, the Tigers battled to a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory and has been the victors in six of the last seven meetings.
Last weekend against the Razorbacks and Commodores, the Tigers, once again, got two more goals from freshman Casie Ramsier, but also scored a two-goal output from junior Tori Ball. Both players scored once in each match to head the offensive outburst for their team and propel it to its first conference victories of the year. The win over Vanderbilt was particularly special as it was the final home match for seniors Bianca Sierra, Maddie Barnes and Kim Spence.
“It was a great weekend we had and we appreciate the support from the Auburn family,” Hoppa said. “Getting two big wins on our last home weekend keeps our postseason hopes alive with one game to go.”
Ramsier was awarded the SEC Freshman of the Week award for the second-consecutive week as she upped her season goal total to nine and became the first Auburn freshman to score nine goals in one season since Katy Frierson in 2008. She also becomes the fourth Tiger to win the conference’s freshman of the week award twice in one season and second since Amy Howard to win it in consecutive weeks.
One of the reasons the Auburn offense was able to get such a large output was the performance of the defense. Led by sophomore Kala Faulkner, the Auburn defense only allowed one shot on goal against Vanderbilt on Sunday and eight total shots by the Razorbacks on Friday. Giving their opponents limited opportunities was exactly what Hoppa had in mind.
“Our defense was just outstanding,” Hoppa said. “The whole group was just outstanding. We played probably the leading goal scorer in the conference, Vanderbilt’s Cheyna Williams, she never got one good look at goal. She had one wide shot and that was her only chance.”
Fans can listen to this night’s action locally on WEGL 91.1 as Brit Bowen will have the call live from Tuscaloosa 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.