Auburn dominates in 4-0 win over South Alabama
AUBURN, Ala. (auburntigers.com) – The Auburn soccer team began its 14th NCAA Tournament appearance in style with a 4-0 win against South Alabama on Saturday afternoon. The victory sent the Tigers (15-6-0) to the second round for the third-straight year, matching the program record set from 2002-04.
“I’m really, really pleased with our team,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “I thought we dominated possession and I thought we played a great game. South Alabama is a great team. They had a great season and were really dangerous. Our possession was tremendous and our defense was tremendous to limit them to one shot on goal. It was a great result and we’re excited to be fighting to play another day.”
Brooke Ramsier paced the team with two goals in the 90-minute affair, while Haley Gerken and Casie Ramsier each netted one to guide the offense. Kristen Dodson also made her mark on the match by providing two assists.
The Tigers dominated from start to finish as the team outshot the Jaguars (15-6-1) by a margin of 18-1. Auburn’s defense did not allow a single shot in the first half and Sarah Le Beau smothered the lone attempt by South Alabama in the second half.
“We talked about being relentless, and I think we really embodied that today,” stated Gerken. “It took us a little bit of time to get into the game, but we came out of halftime and we wanted to own our field. This is our home field and we wanted to put it all out there.”
Despite a plethora of chances early on, the Tigers were unable to break the deadlock. The 44th minute is when the match finally broke the home team’s way.
Dodson worked her way around a defender by the corner flag and sent in a cross across the face of goal to Casie Ramsier, who waited patiently and tapped it over the line to give Auburn a 1-0 lead just before the intermission.
Coming out of the break, Gerken picked a perfect time to register her first tally of 2016. In the 53rd minute, the senior sent in a curling effort to the back post where it nestled into the top corner to double the lead for the Tigers, 2-0.
Just nine minutes later, Brooke Ramsier made it 3-0 when she took a layoff from Dodson and lofted a ball to the back post that was just over the outstretched arms of the opposing goalkeeper and across the line.
The Dallas, Texas native then rattled home her first career brace when she launched a free kick from 25 yards out that rocketed into the back of the net and put the match out of reach in the 78th minute.
Auburn held on in the final moments and notched its seventh shutout of the season.
In total, the Tigers played 20 players and saw four players come off the bench to register season-highs in minutes including Hannah Alspach, Devyn Brough, Kerry Dunn and Katie Grunder.
Auburn awaits the winner of the UConn-Albany match that is set to take place Saturday night. The Tigers will play the victor on Friday in Gainesville, Fla. with a game time yet to be determined.