In what was not only the first sport back on campus but also the first SEC soccer game of the season, Auburn and Mississippi State tied 1-1 on Friday at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
The Tigers and Bulldogs were all tied up at one apiece heading into the overtime periods, but neither team scored in the two 10-minute overtimes that were played.
“In a lot of ways, it was a typical opening game, we get the opportunity to play some exhibitions, play some non-conferences before we get into conference,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “You could see some first-game jitters and little mistakes.”
The Tigers played with a more passive attack than the Bulldogs, only having three shots on goal compared to Mississippi State’s nine. Even with the fewer shots on goal, Auburn was still able to strike first in the contest.
After a scoreless first half, Auburn’s Sydney Richards scored off an assist from Kori Locksley in the 55th minute to help the Tigers go up 1-0.
The Bulldogs responded with an equalizer in the 77th minute scoring off a penalty kick by Mississippi State’s Niah Johnson.
Outside of the penalty kick goal by Mississippi State, Hoppa was impressed with the play of her freshman goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska who was making her first career start for the Tigers. Prohaska finished the evening with eight saves.
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“Maddie was great, the exciting thing for today and Maddie is it is only the beginning, Hoppa said. “She’s a 17-year old freshman playing in her first game. It was a great start for her, and we know she’s only going to get better from here.”
Even if the result wasn’t a win, Hoppa was just grateful to play SEC soccer again.
“It felt great, I couldn’t be more appreciative of our medical staff and our administration for basically making this happen,” Hoppa said. “They always make it happen for us but obviously during a pandemic it’s even heightened the contributions of Dr. Goodlett and his staff, the administration’s commitment and the SEC’s commitment to allow our players play.”
Auburn (0-0-1) will next travel to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies on Sept. 27.
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