This weekend will mark the second and third of five consecutive home games held at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
The Tigers (0–1), led by coach Karen Hoppa, coaching for her 13th season at Auburn, were a pre-season favorite to win the SEC Western Division in the annual league coaches’ poll.
The team is coming off a 4–1 loss to Wake Forest, a game that produced several freshman breakout performances.
Auburn’s lone goal was scored by freshman forward Chelsea Gander-Cromer, with freshman Tatiana Coleman assisting.
“We said our freshmen were gonna add some excitement up top, and you saw that tonight, and we hope that’s a little picture of a lot of good things to come in the future,” Hoppa said.
The team is using the loss as a chance to work on the offensive prowess it was lacking against Wake Forest.
“It’s a hard loss, but we’re gonna bounce back, hope to get the ‘W’ next Friday when we play at home,” said Lydia Townsend, senior forward.
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders fell to the Dayton Flyers 7–2 during their season opener last Friday.
Although the Raiders had a strong start, scoring the first goal in less than two minutes, they were no match for the Flyers’ offense during the remainder of the game.
Key players for the Blue Raiders include senior forward Shan Jones and junior midfielder and forward Whitney Jorgenson.
The last and only time the Tigers have met the Raiders on the field was in 2002, with the Tigers grabbing the win.
The Kennesaw State Owls currently hold a 1–1 record for the season after falling to Alabama 7–1 in the season opener, but recovered after defeating Alabama A&M 8–0.
The Owls’ last victory tied a Division I record for the most goals the team has scored in a single game since joining the division in 2005.
Some returning players for KSU to watch are sophomore defender Alma Gardarsdottir and senior forwards Alyssa Mahan and Brittany Vining.
Kennesaw State will be facing the College of Charleston Friday before facing off against the Tigers Sunday.
“I expect at practice this week the team will be more focused than they were before and maybe pay more attention to details,” Hoppa said. “It’s gonna be two good home games and hopefully it’ll be a good opportunity for our team to respond to this loss we had on Friday.”