Auburn soccer will look to continue its hot start to the season on Thursday, when it takes on UAB at the Auburn Soccer Complex. The Tigers will be playing for the first time in a week, after Sunday’s matchup against South Alabama was postponed.
Auburn is coming off a three-game winning streak that includes a win over No. 12 BYU and most recently a win over Troy.
UAB has struggled to start this season, getting off to a 1-3 start. The Blazers most recent match resulted in a 5-1 loss against Arizona State.
As the Tigers prepare to take on UAB, let’s look at who could be the difference makers in this in-state battle.
Anna Haddock (Mid)- There is no better place to start with this Auburn team then with sophomore midfielder Anna Haddock. She not only helps link the defense to the attack, but she also is crucial to the attack of this Auburn team. Haddock is the leading scorer for the Tigers with three goals, but she also has the team-high for assists with two. Look for Haddock to find a way to contribute on the offensive end either with a goal or an assist.
Defense- The back three that head coach Karen Hoppa uses is the foundation for this team. The back three is comprised of fifth-year senior Alyssa Malonson, senior M.E. Craven and sophomore Madeline Moore. So much of what this team does well relies on the trio. They are as solid at the back as any other in the SEC. On average, this group allows one goal a game. Malonson and Craven have both added goals this season as well.
Maddie Prohaska (GK)- Sophomore Maddie Prohaska was a pleasant surprise last season. The early enrollee shined in her first season on the plains. In 17 games last season she only conceded 14 goals. That’s a rate of 0.8 per 90 minutes. The sophomore also boasted a 0.843% save percentage in those games. If Auburn is to succeed, she needs to produce much of the same this season.
Laura Zemberyova (Fwd)- Zemberyova was a member of the Conference USA All-Freshman team following her performance last season where she led all Conference USA freshman in assists with five. These performances earned her a national team cap with Slovakia. This season she has tied for the team high in goals with one.
Stella Kiss (Mid)- Senior Stella Kiss started her college career with Auburn before transferring to UAB in 2019. The senior earned Conference USA Second-Team honors following her performances last season where she totaled six goals and one assist. This season she has bagged only one goal, which was the game-winner vs. Kennesaw State. Kiss has also accounted for one assist this season, matching her total for all of last season.
Areas to Watch:
Will the Blazer defense respond after conceding five last time out? - The UAB defense is going to be an area to watch as they have given up nine goals through the first four games of the season. The Blazers are conceding 2.25 goals per 90 minutes this season. Auburn’s offense is scoring two goals per 90 minutes through its three games this season.
Who is going to dominate the midfield - This is shaping up to be an interesting game in the midfield. UAB's Kiss and Auburn's Haddock each are the leading scorers and chance creators for their teams. Which one will find the back of the net or create the most chances?
Which forward is going to step up for Auburn? – No forward has yet to score for Auburn. The midfield and defense have supplied the goals so far this season. The forwards this season have a total of three shots on goal. The defense and midfield have 17 shots on goal.
Look for these players and these areas when Auburn and UAB face off at 6:30 p.m. CST, at the Auburn Soccer Complex on Thursday.
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