Auburn soccer clawed back to defeat Army 3-2 on Sunday, completing the back half of its road trip on Sunday at Malek Stadium at Clinton Field.
The Tigers found themselves trailing 2-1 at the halfway point, but came away with two goals early in the second half, topped off by a game-winning goal from senior midfielder Anna Haddock in the 62nd minute. This was her second goal in the last three matches.
“We toughed it out and got it done,” Haddock said. “Really great fight and response and an overall great defensive effort from the whole team today.”
The match overall was even statistically. Just one shot separated the two squads, with the Tigers creating 14 shots compared to the 13 of the Black Knights. The teams were also even in shots on target, mustering seven each, and both keepers making five saves.
The advantage that Auburn did edge out statistically was on corner kicks, pulling out six opportunities as compared to the one that Army had.
The Tigers got their offense going late in the first half when senior midfielder Sammie Brown scored inside the right post off a cross from Maquena O’Callaghan in the 38th minute of the game. This was a milestone moment for the both of them, with Brown picking up her first collegiate goal and O’Callaghan picking up her first career assist. Sydney Richards also earned an assist on the play.
“I was just happy to be in the right place in the right time,” Brown said. “Credit to Maq (O’Callaghan) and Syd (Richards) for doing their job out on the corner that allowed for that goal to happen. I’m happy that I could contribute to the result versus a strong team.”
The goal from Auburn was not enough to take the advantage into the half however, as the Black Knights picked up goals from Brigid Duffy and Jordan Follenweider in the 25th and 40th minutes, respectively.
The second half was completely controlled by Auburn, as both the offensive and defensive side of the ball helped to secure the victory. It started in the 51st minute when the Tigers forced an own goal off of a throw-in, where Marissa Arias pressured an Army defender to scoot the ball past the reach of her own keeper and into the net.
It was just 11 minutes later that Haddock shot the game-winner in the upper left corner off a pass by junior Carly Thatcher and a cross-up of two defenders. Haddock has now contributed to the offensive statline in all three of Auburn’s wins.
Head coach Karen Hoppa was proud of the way her team pulled out a gutsy win on the road.
“What a crazy game,” Hoppa said. “It wasn’t our best soccer, but the girls found a way to win. That’s what I’m really proud of. We knew Army would be tough and physical, but we fought hard, and we got it done versus a great team in a tough environment.”
Auburn heads back home to end its August slate on Thursday, Aug. 31 where it will play host to Wake Forest on Mental Health Awareness Night. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on SECN+.
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Tyler Raley is a junior from Birmingham, Alabama, majoring in journalism.