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10/20/22; Auburn, AL, USA; XXXXX before Auburn vs Tennessee at Auburn Soccer Complex in Auburn, AL
Elaina Eichorn/AU Athletics
10/20/22; Auburn, AL, USA; XXXXX before Auburn vs Tennessee at Auburn Soccer Complex in Auburn, AL Elaina Eichorn/AU Athletics

Defensive battle ends in 0-0 draw as the Tigers visit Ole Miss

The Auburn Tigers (5-3-3, SEC: 1-1-1) fought a defensive battle with the Rebels of Ole Miss (5-3-2, SEC: 1-1-1) as both offenses struggled to get the final touch to break the scoreless tie. The Tigers kept the match level through impressive goalie play and final-third defending from the whole defense. 

It was a tale of two halves for both sides as in the first half Auburn was on the backfoot bending but not breaking against an offensive onslaught from the Rebels that included 6 shots 2 of which forced a save and the line share of possession. It was good defending as Maddie Prohaska made 2 saves in the first 45 minutes to keep the Tigers level at the half. 

“It was nice to get back on a shutout,” Prohaska said “Our d-team has been working really hard to get back and put up another one, so I’m glad it came to fruition.”

Auburn's defense stepped up in the second half as rather than bending they stifled the Ole Miss attack as the Rebels failed to get a second half shot off, highlighting the team effort of the Tiger's Defense as it took a clutch clearance to avoid an Ole Miss lead in the second half. 

Despite being on the defensive for the majority of the first half, the offense was able to get into more of a rhythm in the second half. Offensively, the Tigers became more of the aggressor in the second half keeping more possession and forcing Ole Miss to defend. Auburn doubled their shots in the second half adding 7 more in the second 45 minutes 3 of which forced a save.

The Tigers had several players record shots but the leaders were Anna Haddock who got 6 shots off while fifth-year Sydney Richards saw 4 attempts to break the tie and Carly Thatcher took just 1 shot along with Sydnie Thibodaux and Sammie Brown.

Sydney Richards had the best chance of the day for the Tigers, sending a header into the bottom left of the frame that forced a fantastic diving stop from the Rebels goalkeeper. As the Tiger offense started clicking the overall view of the game was a relatively positive one as the value of an away point in SEC play isn't lost on the team or staff. 

“Certainly would’ve rather taken a win, but we’re not mad about earning a point on the road,” Tigers head coach Karen Hoppa said. “Really happy with how we played in the second half. We struggled in the beginning of the game, but we grew into it and got control at the end of the first half. We came out of the break great and gave ourselves multiple chances. Credit to the Ole Miss keeper for making some great saves.”

The Tigers will continue their campaign with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday for an Alumni weekend matchup against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Auburn. 

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