The SEC announced Monday their weekly honors and for a second straight week, Freshman Maddie Prohaska took home defensive player of the week. Pitching four shutouts in her last five games, Prohaska leads the conference in save percentage (.842) and goals against average (0.82). The Tigers are 7-5-3 this season with just three games remaining on their regular season Spring slate before the NCAA Tournament beginning Apr 23.
In their sixth double OT game of the season, the Senior-Freshman combo of Houchin and Prohaska led the Tigers to a 1-0 victory in Louisville. Maddie with the shutout in net and Sarah with the game winner.
“Maddie had another great game” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “Where Maddie was really good is Louisville flighted a lot of crosses and Maddie handled everyone and hung on to everyone.”
Auburn has missed having an elite keeper in net before Prohaska broke on the scene as a 17-year-old in the Fall. The only comparison in recent years would be with another four-year starter Sarah Le Beau. From 2015-18, Le Beau compiled a 0.761 career save percentage with 1.09 goals against average. Not once did she touch a save percentage for a single season above .800. Auburn recognized Le Beau as one of the best in program history finishing second in career shutouts (28), third in goals against average, third in career starts, and fourth in saves (305). Maddie is on pace to shatter these records.
Coach Karen Hoppa knows the goalie position better than just about anyone, especially as a 3-year starter back in her days at Central Florida. Prohaska is one of the best young keepers the program has seen and can really do it all. In “This Week in Auburn Soccer”, Hoppa mentioned she could have put Prohaska in to take the PK in 2OT at Louisville Saturday. Houchin has been the Tigers number one PK shooter all Spring, but the decision had to be thought through since the Marissa Arias injury taking an extended period before the attempt.
The question was a strength of the games mental side. Too much time can bring out nerves that previously subside in the moment, but assistant coach Nick Flohre was sure Houchin was good and should still take the shot. Hoppa trusted his expertise, Houchin remained the one, and the rest is history.
But for the moment, the discussion of who would be Houchin’s replacement could have been Maddie. “The goalkeeper could, and I’ll tell you what, Maddie Prohaska is very good at them” said Hoppa.
Prohaska, Houchin, and the rest of the Tigers look to finish their season strong with another Iron Cup matchup in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, Mar. 27 at 2 p.m. CT.
Auburn will be home one final time this season to take on South Alabama Apr. 3 at 1 p.m. CT. We will have the call on 91.1FM or streaming on weglfm.com.