Auburn Soccer Falls In Second Round Of NCAA Tournament To Florida State 2-1
November 17, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Auburn soccer team (15-5-2) fell in the second round of the NCAA Tournament here 2-1 Sunday afternoon to the host Florida State. The Seminoles will now move on to play Connecticut in the round of 16.
Auburn drops to 1-4 all-time versus the Seminoles, but had a school-record season as the Tigers not only made it to the NCAA Tournament’s second round for the first time, but also claimed their first SEC Championship, earned a school record for wins with 15 and a school record for shutouts with 11.
In the game, Auburn was out-shot 10-to-3 on the day with the Tigers putting two of those shots on goal and FSU connecting on eight on goal.
The Tigers came out slow in the first half and the Seminoles took advantage at the 18:15 mark. Florida State went up 1-0 off a direct kick 10 yards outside of the Auburn box. From the direct kick, Cindy Schofield sent a pass to the left side where Camie Bybee charged in from the left to send the shot past Auburn goalkeeper Megan Rivera for the 1-0 lead.
The Seminoles controlled the ball most of the half as they took five shots as compared with Auburn’s two. Rivera made an outstanding save late in the half to save a larger FSU lead.
It appeared as if the second half was going to be a repeat of the first as Florida State had some impressive chances in the beginning, but the Auburn defense came up big. The Tigers began adding some pressure and created a chance of its’ own.
With 26:26 remaining in the game, Sarah Steinmann dribbled past two FSU defenders down the left side and sent a centering pass to Chrissy Culver, who split two Seminoles and sent a shot past Florida State goalkeeper Kerry York just inside the left post tying the game at 1-1. Culver’s goal was her ninth of the season, which is a high for the team.
Lucky for the Tigers, Culver was back in the lineup as she missed the entire second half of the Central Florida game with an injury to her shin. Culver was taken to the hospital for precautionary x-rays, but was cleared to play against Florida State and started for the Tigers.
“I was feeling a lot better today,” Culver said. “I wanted to go out and see how much I could do and things felt normal. It was good to get out and play. On the goal, I knew that Sarah Steinmann would break through and send me a cross like we have been doing all season, so I just needed to get open. I did and the pass was right there.”
With 7:43 remaining in regulation, Auburn had a scare as Leah Gallegos broke away down the right side and got a shot off. Rivera again had a dive to punch the ball out of bounds. With just 5:45 remaining, junior defender Sandy Carnes saved a Seminole shot as Rivera came out to pick off a corner kick, but was knocked out of the way. Carnes was the lone Tiger standing in the way and cleared the open shot.
“I knew that Megan Rivera will get at least a hand on that ball, so we just have to sit back and wait to see if it happens to be deflected,” Carnes said. “I saw it come through and I just got a good look at it and luckily cleared it.”
Auburn’s luck ran out, however, with 3:41 remaining as Florida State’s Cindy Schofield sent a shot past a diving Rivera from about 15 yards out to take the 2-1 lead over the Tigers and the win.
“Congratulations to Florida State,” Richter said. “These were two great teams and Florida State played an outstanding game and came out with the win.”
Auburn’s season concludes with an SEC Championship, a 15-5-2 record on the year and a second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.