The Auburn Tigers downed in-state rival Alabama 2-1 in Tuscaloosa Saturday to extend the Tigers' win streak to three games in a row.
Auburn outshot the Crimson Tide 18-1, with the single Alabama shot coming in the 90th minute of the match.
With the win, the Tigers split the season series against Alabama. Auburn fell at home in a 1-0 loss in November during the first half of the regular season.
“Really proud of our team,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “Last fall we felt like we let one get away at home against Alabama, and the girls really wanted to have this opportunity to have a second chance. I was proud of them; they made the most of it. We scored two terrific goals, and that’s what you need to win on the road in the SEC.”
A 17th-minute corner kick led to a shot attempt from Auburn’s Alyssa Malonson, but the shot was deflected back to Sydney Richards. Richards controlled the rebound off of the bounce and sent a shot through traffic to the far-left-lower back of the net, scoring the Tigers' first goal of the day.
“Coach had put me there on corners, and it just happened to land perfectly,” Richards said. “Honestly, I was kind of worried because I had to take two touches, then it went back to me. But I just needed to go for the far post, and it was really exciting, and I’m really glad we got up early.”
Auburn scored again just 10 minutes into the second half with a 54th-minute strike from Hailey Whitaker. Assisted by an overhead pass from Anna Haddock, Whitaker controlled the bounce and struck the bouncing ball into the goal's top left corner.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead early in the second half.
Auburn's defense came to play in Saturday’s win holding the Tide to just one shot on the day with multiple crosses and corners corralled by goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska.
“Our defense is great, and our offense is good, too,” Whitaker said. “We had just been missing some key points, and I think today we kind of put it together. We really connected better than we had this whole season, so I am really excited to see where we go from here.”
Saturday’s win marks five in a row for the Tigers over Alabama in Tuscaloosa and marks the 13th win against the Tide in the last 16 games played.
Auburn’s last home game of the season will be against South Alabama on Saturday at 1 p.m. CST.
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Larry is a senior studying journalism with a minor in sociology. He is from Enterprise, Alabama and is in his third year with The Auburn Plainsman.