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A spirit that is not afraid

A 'hard-fought battle' brings Auburn soccer just short against Tennessee in double overtime

The No. 11 Tigers fought to the finish on the road as they fell in double overtime to Tennessee on Thursday. The Tigers went into the second half with a lead but could not hold on, as the Volunteers rallied back to win 2-1. 

Marissa Arias gave the Tigers the lead in the 69th minute as she scored her fourth goal in four games. Tennessee responded back with the tie in the 86th minute, leading to a double-overtime game. Tennessee was able to snatch the victory from the Tigers in the early minutes of double overtime. 

“I really thought our young team got better tonight," said head coach Karen Hoppa. "Our second half was much better than our first half, but we just couldn’t close out the game against a very good Tennessee team."

“Credit to Tennessee,” Hoppa added. “They played fantastic tonight. We just need to do a better job of game management late in the game, but it was a really hard-fought battle, and I thought our team got better tonight.”

This was the first time either team had gone into overtime this season. 

Olivia Candelino, who has been credited with multiple assists over the past few games, started aggressive as she got off two shots on the goal in the first half. Auburn was only able to get one shot for the remainder of the half. 

Auburn’s defense was also aggressive, as it was led by Alyssa Malonson, M.E. Craven and Maddie Prohaska. The unit countered eight first-half shots, including six corner shots and three on goal by Tennessee.

Prohaska continued the clean defensive execution as she made three saves in the first 45 minutes of the game and also made two saves in the first few minutes of the second half.  

The Tigers attempted to get their offense going as they took three shots on the goal in the second half within three minutes of each other. Anna Haddock and company were finally able to capitalize. Haddock took the corner and Sydney Richards hit a one-timer off the left post before Arias put it into the net for good off a touch from Candelino. 

The Volunteers did not take long to even the score as they put the ball into the net just under 20 game minutes later. Tennessee scored eleven seconds into the double-overtime kickoff after both teams had gone scoreless for the first ten minutes of overtime.  

Sixteen Tigers got into the action Thursday and seven of those played all 100-plus minutes.  

Auburn will return to the Plains to take on division foe Texas A&M (5-4-1, 1-1-0 SEC) Sunday at 2 p.m. CST at the Auburn Soccer Complex.

Kristen Carr | Sports Writer

Kristen is a sophomore majoring in journalism with a minor in business. She is also the host of our sports podcast, Page 8, that can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud. 

Twitter: @kristencarrau

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