Just 15-minutes before kickoff, Mother Nature had other plans and decided to delay the start of Auburn and UMass Lowell two hours. Despite rain and lightning spoiling “Pups on the Pitch” night, the Tigers (4-0-3) would net four goals to remain undefeated in 2022.
In recap, Auburn Soccer came out of the gates with hot feet scoring two goals in the first 11-minutes of the contest. The first coming off the right foot of Sydney Richards (1) on the feed from Hailey Whitaker and Madeline Moore in the 7th minute.
Then, just three minutes later its was graduate Grace Sklopan (1) netting her chance from Anna Haddock and Hannah Waesch in the 10th minute. The Tigers would have four different goal scorers including three from starters in tonight’s contest.
Shortly before the end of the 1st half, it was Junior Maddie Simpson (2) in the 43rd minute to give the home team the 3-0 lead heading into the locker room. By this point in the game, only a few loyal fans were still around including a few “Pups” enjoying themselves on a Thursday evening.
Shortly after first touch in the 2nd half, Olivia Candelino (1) found the bottom right corner from Maddie Simpson to cap a four goal performance from the Tigers. This was Auburn’s second highest scoring total of the season behind their 9-0 victory against Southern Miss.
The only slip in the Tigers performance, despite a wet pitch was seven seconds later when a breakaway from Loanna Papatheodorou slipped by Auburn’s backline to net their one and only goal of the night.
River Hawks keeper Bra Bernkov would finish the night with eight saves and four goals on 25 Tiger attempts. For Auburn, the combination of Maddie Prohaska and Makenna Garcia allowed one goal on two attempts.
Tonight’s match wraps up home non-conference regular season play for the Tigers leaving head coach Karen Hoppa pleased after the 4-1 win over River Hawks.
“I’m happy we got multiple goals, from multiple goal scorers, that’s something we’ve been wanting to do, and we got it today. I’m really happy with the performance overall.”
This Sunday, Auburn Soccer travels to Birmingham for a rematch with Samford after the Tigers early departure in the 2021 NCAA tournament. Sydney Richards is no stranger to revenge on the pitch and will look to continue that this weekend.
“Oh, I’m ready, it’s time for some revenge. I think we could’ve played a lot better when we played the last time, and I know we can do a lot better this time.”