#16 Auburn Soccer vs. Clemson Preview

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#16 Auburn Soccer vs. Clemson Preview

NCAA Tournament 
 November 12,  7:30 p.m. 
Auburn, Ala. AU Soccer Complex
Radio: WZMG 910 AM 

Game Notes

scouting auburn...
Auburn enters the tournament with a 14-3-2 record on the season.
The 2004 NCAA Tournament is the first time the Tigers have earned a host site in their fourth consecutive appearance. Auburn is led by head coach Karen Hoppa, who is in her sixth season, and holds a 73-40-8 record during her time on the Plains. Auburn won its fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference Western Division title in 2004 and the Tigers had six players honored with All-SEC awards. First team awards were handed out to senior forward Chrissy Culver, senior goalkeeper Megan Rivera and sophomore defender Ronda Brooks. On the second team were senior forward Sarah Steinmann and senior defender Jenn Walters. Rounding out Auburn honorees was freshman defender Lauren Stewart on the all-freshman team. Culver leads the team in goals with seven, but Steinmann holds the highest point total with six goals and six assists on the season. Goalkeeper Megan Rivera continues to be outstanding as she holds a 0.76 goals against average on the year and adds to her record career shutouts with 32 in four seasons.
       
This is Auburn's fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament as well as fourth consecutive. The Tigers are 2-3 all-time in the tournament, defeating Central Florida 2-0 in 2002 and Oklahoma State 1-0 in 2003. Auburn and Clemson have never met in the postseason, but the Clemson Lady Tigers hold a 4-0 series lead on Auburn, though the teams have not played since 1998. Auburn and Clemson have four common opponents this season including Furman, Miami, Kansas and South Carolina. Auburn finished 3-1 (with a loss to Kansas) vs. those four opponents, while Clemson was 2-2 with losses to Kansas and South Carolina.

scouting clemson...
The Lady Tigers of Clemson enter the tournament holding a 10-7-2
record on the year. Head coach Todd Bramble is in his fourth year with Clemson, holding a 51-27-4 record. The Lady Tigers are led offensively by Courtney Foster, who has scored seven goals on the year and added an assist. Lindsay Browne is tied with Foster in points with six goals and three assists. Goalkeeper Lauren Johnston has played every game but one and has given up 14 goals for a 1.03 goals against average. Clemson likes to get on the board early as it has out-scored its opponents 20-3 in the first half, but just 17-14 in second half action. The 2004 tournament appearance for Clemson is the team's 11th consecutive, which makes them one of just seven teams to have played in the tournament the last 10 years. Clemson has advanced to the NCAA Final 16 five times (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001) and to the NCAA Final Eight three times (1998, 1999, and 2000).

scouting birmingham southern...
Birmingham Southern begins its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament holding a 12-7-3 record. BSC earned its spot by winning the Big South conference tournament in a penalty kick victory over High Point. The team is led offensively by Anne McIntyre, who has scored 11 goals and six assists. Caitlin Gordon is second with seven goals and six assists on the year. Goalkeepers Andria Gray and Tarra Kohler have split time in the net with Gray playing the majority of time at 1283:29, giving up 13 goals in 21 games for a 0.91 goals against average. Head coach Keidane McAlpine is in his fourth season at Birmingham Southern and holds a record of 32-36-10.

scouting washington...
Washington, which holds a record of 14-4-1 and a national ranking of No. 14, earned the No. 15 national seed in the tournament. The team has impressive wins this season against No. 2 seed Penn State (2-1), No. 6 seed Ohio State (2-1, OT), No. 11 seed Tennessee (2-1) and No. 5 seed Portland. Tina Frimpong, the 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year leads the team with 12 goals -- six game-winners -- and four assists on the season. Senior midfielder Nikki Gamble has scored eight goals and five assists. Goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen has played all 1790 minutes for the Huskies, allowing 24 goals in 19 games.

quoting karen hoppa...
On hosting the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds... "They made us wait until the final bracket was announced to find out, but after seeing that we are going to get to host, it was absolutely worth the wait."

On Clemson...
"This first round matchup against Clemson is about as tough as it gets. They are in the ACC and have loads of talent. This will not be an easy road for us."

quoting senior forward sarah steinmann...
On hosting the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds... "I can't tell you how excited we are. We are ready for this. This is a big challenge. Clemson is very talented, but we are excited for the opportunity to play them at home."

tournament schedule...
Friday, Nov. 12 5 p.m. Birmingham Southern vs. No. 15-seeded Washington 7:30 p.m.

Auburn vs. Clemson Sunday, Nov. 14 2 p.m. Winner game one vs. Winner game two

there's something missing...
If Auburn seems to be excited that they are not matched up in the same bracket with Florida State, you will have to excuse them. In Auburn's other three appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers have met up with the Seminoles. In 2001, 2003 and 2003, FSU has knocked Auburn out the tournament.

mi casa es su casa...
Auburn is becoming accustomed to hosting postseason events. The Tigers have now hosted 23 NCAA Tournament events, nine SEC Tournaments and seven other postseason tournaments such as the US Open in swimming and men's and women's NIT basketball tournaments. Most recently, Auburn soccer hosted the 2004 SEC Tournament Nov. 4-7.

there's no place like home...
Although Auburn's home streak of undefeated games ended Sept. 19 in a 1-0 double overtime loss to No. 6 Kansas, the Tigers have had success lately at the AU Soccer Complex. In the Karen Hoppa era (1999-2004), the Tigers are 39-13-2 at home, including 25-2-2 in the last three years. In SEC action, the Tigers have not lost in the regular season at home since a 1-0 loss to Georgia on Oct. 7, 2001.