In a bout for a postseason appearance, Auburn held off Alabama late Thursday with a 2-1 win to earn a berth in the SEC Tournament.
Bri Folds' game-winning goal in the 83rd minute led Auburn to its sixth-straight win in the Iron Bowl of Soccer, including the 11th of the last 12 over the Crimson Tide.
“The rivalry is just incredible,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “It’s always a tough game, and it’s a big win. Bigger than even the rivalry, it secures postseason for us from a SEC Tournament standpoint and puts us in great position for the NCAA Tournament, too.”
Folds currently leads the team with nine goals on the season, and her six game-winning goals match the Auburn single-season record.
Auburn scored quickly into the match with a goal by Gianna Montini in the 11th minute, and the Tigers continued to hold onto the lead before Alabama's Gabby Duca's goal with eight minutes remaining.
Despite the score and downpour, Auburn goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau maintained her composure and confidence in her team.
“After the goal I told the team to remain calm and create opportunities,” Le Beau said. “There is still plenty of time for us to score.”
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Le Beau stopped nine shots in a second-half effort. Opposite Le Beau, Auburn's offense continued to attack the box, with nine shots on goal on 17 attempts.
After two-straight in-conference losses to Vanderbilt and Arkansas, Hoppa said the team's focus was being prepared entering the tournament weekend.
“The biggest change we had from our last couple of games was getting into position and finishing,” Hoppa said.
Auburn enters the weekend as the No. 8 seed, and the Tigers will play No. 9 Florida Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT. The game will be aired on the SEC Network.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman