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A spirit that is not afraid

Tigers remain perfect in 2-1 win over Troy

<p>M.E. Craven during a match against Troy on Aug. 26, 2021</p>

M.E. Craven during a match against Troy on Aug. 26, 2021

The Auburn Tigers moved to 3-0 on the season, defeating Troy 2-1 in an in-state matchup at the Troy Soccer Complex on Thursday.

Auburn continues to add onto its win streak which now sits at eight in a row, dating back to the spring season, the second longest such streak in program history.

“We had a great weekend last weekend, and with a young team, being able to respond after a big win and trying to get a result on the road is a big challenge," said head coach Karen Hoppa "All the credit to Troy. They played a fantastic game, but I'm proud of my team for managing the game and coming out with a road result."

Led by senior captain Olivia Dedels in her season debut, senior M.E. Craven and sophomore Hannah Waesch propelled the Tigers to victory as they both scored their first goals of the season.

Sophomore Olivia Candelino got her first assist of the season with Anna Haddock once again earning her spot on the scoresheet with two additional Tiger assists.

Candelino and Haddock passed the ball between each other while looking for an opening outside of the Trojan goalie box. Finding space in behind the defenders, the pair fed the ball to Waesch, who launched the ball at the goal with her left foot. The goalkeeper’s deflection proved to be ineffective as the ball bounced back to Waesch, who knocked the ball into the net on her second time around.

“I intercepted the ball from their center back and found an open gap to the outside," Waesch said. "[Candelino] played a great ball into Anna at the top of the box, and she made a great reserve pass to me. I just placed it back corner."

The Tigers, not satisfied with just one goal, remained on the offensive. Just 10 minutes later, the senior Craven made a run to the near post from the middle of the field on a Tiger corner kick. Haddock, who has three goals herself this season, fed in a cross to Craven, who leaped over the Troy defensive back and propelled the ball into the back of the net. 

The goal marked Craven’s first as an Auburn Tiger and proved to be the final match decider.

"It's been something I've been working on," Craven said of her header. "I wanted to get us up more than one goal to give us a nice buffer. When Anna served that ball, I knew I had to get my head on it and get a goal."

Seventeen different Tigers saw action on Thursday as Auburn led 2-0 at the half with 11 shots taken, compared to the Trojan’s single shot on the half.

A second half spark was lit for the Trojans by Taytum Terell as she volleyed the ball into the net for a Trojan goal in the 60th minute. While shortening the lead to one, the Trojans took just three more shots for the duration of the match, all three of which never found their way to the back of the goalie’s net.

Thursday’s win marks 11 straight games in which goalie Maddie Prohaska and the Tigers have allowed one or fewer goals, a streak dating back to Nov. 17, 2020.

"I thought we really did a good job the last 10 minutes of limiting Troy to no real dangerous opportunities," Hoppa said. "I thought we kept the ball well, we held it in the corner well, and that's really good experience for our young team."

Auburn moves on to face another in-state foe on Sunday as the team travels to Mobile, Alabama, to face South Alabama (2-1-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. CST. The game will be live broadcast on ESPN+.

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Larry Robinson | Photo Editor

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. 

Twitter: @ReportingLarry

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