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Monday, Dec 11, 2023 | Latest Print Edition

Tigers continue SEC play with two conference matchups

<p>Sydney Richards (#14) header 1st half American @ Auburn</p>

Sydney Richards (#14) header 1st half American @ Auburn

The Auburn Tigers soccer team takes on the Missouri Tigers and the Ole Miss Rebels this week, looking to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to Mississippi State to open SEC play.

The Tigers are 4-3-1 on the season and 0-1 in SEC play. They will look to gain a significant boost to their resume with wins over two SEC teams, who both have five wins to its respective name this season. 

Auburn’s team so far in the season averages 1.56 goals per game and 13 shots per game. The Tigers' defense is solid, only allowing one goals per game and allowing a low 47.1% of shots on goal to score. The Tigers leading player is midfielder Anna Haddock, who has two goals on the season and seven points to her name. 

Missouri averages 2.25 goals per game and has accumulated 117 shots over eight games. It is led by freshman Kylee Simmons, who is tied for first in the SEC in goals, with seven. 

As good as the Missouri offense is, its defense allows 1.63 goals per game, and allows 63.2% of shots on goal to score. Auburn will need to take advantage of the Missouri defense if it wants to come away with a win, since it will likely be hard to slow down the high-powered Missouri offense.

Auburn plays Missouri Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. CST at the Auburn Soccer Complex. Missouri comes into the game 5-1-2, with a win over Florida to kick off its SEC schedule. The game will be televised on SEC Network+.

The Auburn Tigers next matchup will come on Sunday against the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss currently holds a 5-2-1 record, with a win in its first SEC game over Vanderbilt. 

The Ole Miss offense has averaged 1.75 goals per game and have accumulated 98 shots over its first eight games. Senior Kelly Brady leads the offense, where she ranks third in the SEC in goals with six. The Ole Miss offense is an overall solid unit, but the team really relies on its defense. 

The Ole Miss defense only allows .75 goals per game, allows 44.6% of shots on goal to score and already has four shutouts. The key to Auburn winning this game will be to get a lead early to force the Ole Miss offense to bring the Rebels back into the game.

Auburn's matchup against Ole Miss kicks off at 2 p.m. CST on Sept. 21. The game will be televised on SEC Network.

These games will be very important for the trajectory of the Tigers' season, as an 0-3 start to SEC play would put Auburn in a difficult hole to dig itself out of. 

Luke McClure | Sports Writer

Luke McClure is a junior from Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in sports production. He joined The Plainsman in fall 2023.

Twitter: @lukemcclure0

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