Auburn soccer finished its regular season on Thursday, holding SEC East champion Georgia to a 0-0 tie on the road at the Turner Soccer Complex.
The Tigers achieved this result largely due to the play of senior goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska. She made four crucial saves in the second half, securing the Tigers’ second straight shutout to end conference play and her 25th career clean sheet.
She also became just the sixth keeper in program history to record 250 saves.
“Every single person, from the front to the back, made a difference in our defense tonight,” Prohaska said. “We had some big defensive plays from our back four. I’m really proud of them.”
While the match ended scoreless, the numbers on the stat sheet favored Georgia in many categories.
The Bulldogs drastically outnumbered Auburn in shots taken, finding 14 opportunities compared to the five that the Tigers had. On top of that, three of the shots that Georgia took were on goal as opposed to Auburn’s one.
Georgia also had the advantage in the corner kick department. The ladies in red and black maintained many scoring opportunities on the Tigers’ end of the field, taking 10 corners while Auburn had only two.
Many of the chances that the Bulldogs received to create momentum were sent back by the stout Auburn defense in what proved to be the key moments of the game.
The Tigers piled on six blocked shots from the Georgia offense. Junior defender LJ Knox led them in this run with two of her own, with others contributed by Jessica Osborne, Sydnie Thibodaux, Olivia Candelino and Erin Houston.
“We played our tails off tonight, and I couldn’t be more proud,” Knox said. “We’ve grown together all season long, and this was a product of everything we’ve learned along the way. We hope there’s more to come from this team this season.”
The offense, however, was very limited in its scoring opportunities. Marissa Arias and Anna Haddock each had the largest contribution to this offensive production, as they both created a shot opportunity and a corner kick attempt.
Head coach Karen Hoppa lauded the way her team finished the regular season on the road.
“Great effort from our squad,” Hoppa said. “I thought Georgia looked as good as I’ve ever seen them. It was a testament to our effort and determination to be able to shut out a team like that.”
With the tie tonight, Auburn soccer has earned itself a spot in the SEC Soccer Tournament, which will be played at the Ashton Brosnaham Soccer Complex in Pensacola, Florida.
The top 10 teams in the conference qualified for the tournament, with Auburn receiving the No. 8 seed. The Tigers will play No. 9 seed Tennessee in their first game of the event. The tournament is set to begin on Sunday, Oct. 29, and Auburn's first matchup will be at 3:30 p.m. CST on the SEC Network.
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Tyler Raley is a junior from Birmingham, Alabama, majoring in journalism.