The Auburn Tigers started conference play with a 3-0 win on Friday over the Georgia Bulldogs in the soccer edition of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.
“This was a really big win for us,” said sophomore midfielder Anna Haddock. “It’s great to start the [SEC] season 1-0, and we had to deal with some adversity with the rain delay, but I think we responded really well, and we came away with three points.”
Despite the rain and storming, there was a very strong crowd at the Auburn Soccer Complex that was announced at 1,500. That crowd gave the team a boost.
“What an unbelievable crowd,” said head coach Karen Hoppa “Our girls love it. They feed off the energy, the drums were great, the energy was great, and we appreciate everyone showing, and we hope to see everybody next Sunday at home.”
There was a lighting delay at the beginning of the game that delayed the game for 25 minutes, and then another lighting delay that lasted about an hour. The Tigers found a way to respond despite the conditions
“Really proud of our effort,” Hoppa said. “Dealing with adversity, the two lightning delays, and then losing Madeline Moore nine minutes into the game due to injury, and the way our team responded really shows the character of this group.”
The Tigers controlled the ball for the bulk of the first half, but only netted one goal. That goal was off of a corner kick from Haddock that the goalie knocked in.
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After the lengthy delay, the Tigers picked up right where they left off, as they scored only four minutes after the second half kicked. Haddock netted her second goal of the game off a cross from Olivia Candelino.
Marissa Arias scored Auburn's third and final goal of the match, as Carly Thatcher dribbled past a defender and then sent a pass into the middle of the box. Arias was able to finish from there.
Maddie Prohaska had a clean sheet today, as she and the rest of the defense were able to hold a very strong Georgia offense to zero goals. Georgia was averaging nearly five goals a match before the start of this one.
“Their offense is really good,” said senior defender M.E. Craven. “I thought we did a really good, cohesive job talking together, and passing players, and just getting the shutout.
The Tigers improved their record to 7-1 on the season and to 1-0 in SEC play. Auburn is back in action on Sept. 23 against Tennessee in Knoxville. The game will be on SEC Network+ at 6 P.M. CST.
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