The last two matches for Auburn against teams hailing from North Carolina had not gone the Tigers way. Auburn got a third chance Friday night, as High Point visited the Auburn Soccer Complex.
Auburn was reeling from a tough weekend in Durham, North Carolina at the Duke Nike Classic, where the Tigers lost back-to-back games and gave up seven goals in the process. Auburn, however, bounced back Friday night and secured a 3-1 victory to stop the two-game skid.
A surprise start to the night took place as High Point’s Michele Micciche capitalized on an early defensive error by the Tigers and calmly chipped Sarah Le Beau to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. Suddenly, the Tigers were on the hook for eight unanswered goals over their last three games.
However, it did not take long for the Tigers to take control. The star of the night, Bri Folds, recorded the first goal for the home team, as a wonderful ball played by Taylor Troutman found its way to Fold’s feet for the easy finish.
The second goal of the night for Tigers came by the way of Courtney Schell, assisted from a corner swung in by Folds.
The third and final goal of the night was scored by forward Kristen Dodson, as she capitalized on an effort play by Silvana Poulter, to get the ball to the back post for the easy finish.
Even though High Point’s physicality and stout defense gave the Tigers some trouble early on, they held off the Panthers to start the home stand.
“It’s exactly what we needed," Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa said. "A quality performance at home and I thought the first 12 minutes we were a little bit flat . . . and for next 80 minutes we were dominant and created a ton of chances, and so I’m thrilled with that performance."
High Point was noticeably the bigger team that physicality tested the Tigers especially after the team went down so early, but Coach Hoppa thinks it is exactly what the team needs.
“Well in a way I’m happy cause you know going into SEC’s next week, it’s gonna be super physical, so we needed that, especially that front four they’re pretty young and they need to get used that kind of physical play,” Hoppa said.