Soccer earns first SEC victory against Arkansas
Coming off of three straight double-overtime ties to SEC opponents, Auburn earned its first conference win at home Friday night Oct. 25, defeating Arkansas 3-1.
After both teams battled for possession for the beginning of the game, the first goal was scored, with 19:06 remaining in the first half, by the team leading goal-scorer Casie Ramsier.
Last week Ramsier was awarded SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring goals against Tennessee and Missouri, and she continued the consecutive goal streak against Arkansas with her eighth goal on the season.
"It's awesome (getting our first SEC win). We've been working all season for this. We just haven't had things fall our way but we finally got it tonight so we're excited," Ramsier said.
Following their free kick, Arkansas tied up the game with 6:21 left in the half with a header goal from four yards out by Allie Tripp.
Coming out of halftime Auburn came out strong and ready to get the win.
"The most important thing for us was to play quality possession in our attacking half. And I think we did a tremendous job of that in the second half," Head Coach Karen Hoppa said.
With 39:16 left in the second half, freshman Samantha Solaru assisted sophomore Kala Faulkner's goal in the box with a well-executed corner kick. Auburn had eight corner kicks on the night.
For the remainder of the game the defensive back line made sure that the Arkansas offense spent minimal time in their territory.
"Our defense was tremendous all game really, but especially in the second half. We did a really good job of keeping the game in front of us, trying to deny the throw-ins and deny the set plays," Hoppa said. "We're really pleased with how our defense is playing, led by Kala Faulkner in the back."
Since the defense continued to clear the ball out of their zone and prevent Arkansas from getting good chances to hit the back of the net, the score stayed the same until two minutes were left in the game.
With only two minutes and 15 seconds remaining, junior Tori Ball scored on a breakaway goal increasing Auburn's lead to 3-1, which sealed the victory.
Although Auburn now only has one SEC win, they still have a chance to grab the last spot in the SEC Tournament if they win this Sunday at home, Oct. 27, against Vanderbilt.
"Defense is going to be the name of the game. Vanderbilt has one of the best offenses in the conference, if not the country. So our defense has got to be on point. Our defenders have to be ready," Hoppa said.
"I think right now we just have to rest our bodies and make sure that we come out strong and fast because it's going to be a good game," Ramsier said.