Auburn Soccer to Face Familiar Opponent in Elite 8
Brooke Ramsier (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Dakota Sumpter)
For the first time in school history, the Auburn University Soccer Team has advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament after defeating Florida for the second time this season, 3-1 on Sunday. Brooke Ramsier scored the team’s first goal in the 26th minute when she nailed a 20-yard unassisted shot. Bri Folds scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal on a penalty kick in the 62nd minute, and Kristen Dodson sealed the game with her 30-yard goal in the 85th minute. “I’m incredibly proud of our team. I thought we did not play particularly well in the first half,” said Coach Karen Hoppa following the win. “I was really proud of the team and the adjustments they made in the second half. I thought we played much better soccer. We played better soccer, we created chances.” The win over Florida was the team’s 17th of the season, which set a program record. Senior Brooke Ramsier credits this season’s success to the family-like bond that her team has created. “We go out there and play 90 minutes for each and every girl on and off the field. It’s just a crazy feeling and we’re so happy,” said Ramsier. Auburn advances to the Elite 8 to face a familiar foe, the USC Trojans. Auburn fell to USC on September 4, 2-0 at the Auburn Soccer Complex as part of the Auburn Soccer Classic. This will be the third time in school history that Auburn and USC have faced each other on the pitch. It is also the third time this postseason that Auburn has faced an opponent that they previously faced in the regular season. Auburn hosted South Alabama on August 21, and again in round one. Auburn defeated the Jaguars both times by a combined score of 5-0. Sunday’s match with Florida was also the second time that Auburn has battled the Gators, and also defeated them both times. USC enters the match with Auburn with a 16-4-2 record and has defeated Eastern Washington, Texas A&M, and Utah thus far in the NCAA Tournament. Their 2nd round match with Texas A&M went to three overtimes, which forced a shootout situation. USC earned the win by outscoring the Aggies, 4-3. In their other two wins in the tournament, the Trojans have outscored their opponents 4-1, including a 1-0 shutout of fellow Pac-12 member Utah on Sunday afternoon. Alex Anthony and Morgan Andrews lead USC with 9 goals and are responsible for 7 game-winning goals. Leah Pruitt leads assists with 6. Auburn’s first ever Elite 8 appearance is set for Friday at 3 P.M. at McAlister Field on the campus of the University of Southern California.