With last year’s right-footed taker Katy Frierson gone, the job was handed to Ball.
But despite her inexperience, it took Ball only five minutes to net a pair off of corners, pushing Auburn’s lead to 2-0 by the 10:47 mark.
“Tori’s really had a fantastic preseason,” coach Karen Hoppa said. “She’s been playing her best soccer of her career so far. We needed somebody to take those right-footed corners because last year’s taker graduated, so Tori’s been practicing them and boy, you can’t get better than that. Two goals directly off a corner; that’s really rare and just great, great for her to finish those.”
Ball was moved to defender at the beginning of the season to compensate for the loss of starter Bianca Sierra, but the change of scenery seemed to have no affect on the natural forward.
“It’s definitely different,” Ball said. “Honestly, I’d rather be scoring goals, but I’ll do whatever it takes to help out the team. I mean, we have to defend our SEC Championship, so I’m excited.”
Ball’s goal’s were the fifth and sixth of her career.
The Tigers offensive domination carried over from Friday night’s game against Georgia State, tallying 15 shots before High Point could collect just one. The team ended the match with 34 total shots.
“It’s a lot better result [than Friday]. We did a better job finishing. We worked on that yesterday, to try and get a little sharper and it’s something we have to build on because we still had a lot of opportunities. We still had 16 shots on goal and only four goals so I think we still need to be better in that category, but we took a big step today from Friday. “
Auburn added to its lead nine minutes into the second half when senior forward Mary Coffed headed in her second goal of the season and the 13th of her career, rebounding a shot by sophomore forward Tatiana Coleman that hit high off the crossbar.
“It was up there so long, I was trying to decide what surface to use,” Coffed said. “But you know, just got a fall. Tati’s shot was a rocket, so I was just glad to be there. Right place, right time I guess.”
With all the momentum behind the Tigers, it took only six minutes before freshman Alexa Allen came off the bench to collect the team’s final goal of the match. Allen’s first goal of her college career came unassisted from the top middle of the 18.
“You know, we knew those were the kinds of things Alexa was capable of when we recruited her,” Hoppa said. “We’ve seen flashes of it in preseason, so it was great to actually see her have that success in the game and to take on the way she did and then with a great strike for a goal. It was a great way to start her freshman career.”
High Point got on the board in the 75th minute when Becca Hemby connected with the ball following a free kick.
Although neither was able to make it past Panthers goalie Jesse May, sophomore forward Chelsea Gandy-Cromer and Coleman led the team with six shots apiece.
Auburn will head to California for its next two matches, visiting Pepperdine Friday and UC Irvine Sunday.