Auburn soccer completed a 2-1 comeback over Samford in their season opener in Birmingham on Thursday.
"Opening night, you always want to start with a win,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “Going down early, I’m really proud of the resilience of our group.”
Auburn conceded in the third minute of the game when a loose ball found its way to the foot of Samford’s Mary Raymond who slotted into the right-side netting to give Samford the early lead.
Sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska quickly settled back into the game, making a couple of diving saves to prevent Samford from growing their lead. With Prohaska and the backline stable, Auburn started to gain momentum and possession.
The backline, which was the star of the show last season, was present once again tonight. The backline, headlined by seniors M.E. Craven and Alyssa Malonson, would be the ones to open the Tigers goal tab. Craven laid up a perfect free kick to Malonson to head the ball home in the 38th minute.
“Getting that goal to make it a tie game going into half was massive for us,” Hoppa said.
After 45 minutes, Auburn had outshot Samford seven to four and totaled 61% possession.
The second half got off to a slow start for both teams as they totaled a combined two shots through the first 20 minutes of the second half.
With 25 minutes to go, Auburn began to pick up the pressure and Samford’s defense cracked once again, this time by sophomore Anna Haddock from just outside the box. Redshirt sophomore Marissa Arias was credited with the assist.
With the Haddock goal, Auburn jumped to a 2-1 lead and solidified their first win of the season.
"We’ve been waiting for this moment for quite a while, so we were really excited for this one,” Haddock said. “This is the first of many, and it’s a great start to a great year for us.”
Auburn will look to win once again when they take on No. 12 BYU on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CST at the Auburn Soccer Complex for the home opener.
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