The Auburn Tigers defeated No. 12 BYU 2-1 in Saturday's home opener. This was Auburn’s first win over a top-15 team since 2017.
In a defensive battle that saw 11 combined shots on goal, Anna Haddock’s two goals were the difference maker for the Tigers. The sophomore midfielder now has three of the Tigers’ four goals so far this season.
“It was awesome to score those goals against a really high-quality team, and this is something we can build on for the rest of the year,” Haddock said.
The scoring did not begin until the 41st minute when Haddock scored her first goal of the night on an assist from Kylie Bechard and Carly Thatcher. These were the first career points for Thatcher, who made her debut in Saturday’s match, and Bechard.
The BYU Cougars responded almost immediately with Abbie Kotter, off the assist from Ellie Maughan, scoring a goal only 18 seconds after Haddock. The scoring was halted for the remainder of the half and the teams headed to the locker room with a 1-1 tie.
The defensive battle continued into the second half, with neither team finding the back of the net until the 68th minute. The Tigers, who were called for two fouls in the first half, were called for eight total fouls in the second half.
It was Haddock who scored yet again for the Tigers, this time off an assist from Alyssa Malonson to put the Tigers up 2-1. Haddock was responsible for the go-ahead goal during last week’s comeback win over Samford and did it again last night.
“It was a great ball from Alyssa, and Anna’s a clutch player in big moments. That’s who you want on the ball, and she took care of it,” Hoppa said.
BYU could not answer the Haddock goal and the Tigers defense held on to defeat the No.12 Cougars.
The Auburn defense held the BYU attack in check throughout most of the contest and was led by defender M.E. Craven and goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska, both of which played the full 90 minutes.
“We were really excited coming into the game, and one of our big points of emphasis was to have fun and play our game,” Craven said.
This was the Tigers’ seventh straight win dating back to last season and their 17th home opener win under head coach Karen Hoppa.
“What a night to have a full capacity stadium again,” Hoppa said. “We had a packed house, and the atmosphere was incredible. It really inspired our players, and what a tremendous performance.”
Auburn soccer will hit the road on Thursday when they take on the Troy Trojans. The Tigers will be back inside the Auburn Soccer Complex on September 2nd to play UAB.