The Auburn Soccer team has bounced back from a rough stretch of matches which they went 0-3-1 in with two hard fought 1-0 wins. Their win at Missouri gave head coach Karen Hoppa her 300th career win. Auburn is now up to #21 in the RPI ranking which is a determining factor for NCAA Tournament hosts.
Auburn is sitting at the sixth spot in the SEC Standings with a 3-3-1 conference record and 10 points. The Tigers have three more SEC matchups before heading to Orange Beach for the SEC Tournament and would certainly like to gain some momentum heading into the tournament. Let’s take a look at what Auburn will face down the final stretch of the season.
Auburn will have a tough task at hand when the Commodores come in to town. They are at the top of the SEC Standings with a 6-0-1 conference record and 19 points which is three points clear of second place.
Redshirt freshman Haley Hopkins leads the team in goals scored with 11. Junior goalkeeper Lauren Demarchi leads the conference in save percentage saving 91 percent of shots on goal. She has only allowed three goals all season. She did not play a full match until Vanderbilt’s second conference game at Missouri. Vanderbilt will be coming off 0-0 tie with South Carolina.
at Arkansas (10/21)
After a matchup with the top team in the conference, Auburn will head to Fayetteville for a clash with Arkansas. The Razorbacks are fourth in the SEC with a 5-2-0 record and 15 points and an undefeated record at home.
Averaging 11.73 fouls per game, Arkansas only trails Missouri in that category. They do lead the SEC in corner kicks with 113 and have four goals off of corners. Midfielder Taylor Malham is tied for first in the SEC in assists with Auburn defender Alyssa Malonson at eight apiece.
Auburn will close out the 2018 regular season with a home match against rival Alabama. The Crimson Tide have not played well during conference play and have a slim chance to make the SEC Tournament.
Their post season hopes may come down to this final regular season match which would make this rivalry match-up that much more exciting. Alabama is top five in goals scored, but also bottom three in goals allowed.
Interestingly enough, Alabama is second in the SEC in saves with 72. They just allow too many shots to be taken against them. Sophomore Casey Wertz is the Tide’s leading goalscorer with eight goals this season.
SEC Tournament (10/28-11/4)
Currently, Auburn is tied for sixth in the SEC Standings with LSU and Ole Miss at 10 points each. The difference between the sixth and seventh spot is huge as the sixth seed gets a first round bye, whereas the seventh seed does not.
LSU holds the tiebreaker over both Auburn and Ole Miss. Ole Miss would be the seven seed and Auburn would be at eight.
For Auburn to gain the sixth seed, they must finish the season with more points than LSU and Ole Miss. No matter where the Tigers are seeded, they would love a strong showing in Orange Beach to gain momentum and possibly host an NCAA Tournament game.
This final stretch for Auburn is very important in determining their path in the SEC and NCAA Tournament. It will not be easy as they will be up against the top team in the SEC, a top four team in the SEC, and a rival fighting for a tournament spot.
The Tigers should have regained some confidence after their two bounce back wins coming off a rough stretch. They also hope this stretch can generate some momentum heading into post season play.