2009 Auburn Tigers Soccer Preview
The Auburn Lady Tigers are coming off a 2008 season in which it flexed its muscle against some of the nation's premier competition. Indeed, its 2008 schedule was particularly brutal. The schedule featured eight ranked opponents. And while the Lady Tigers did not manage a win in those eight contests, it demonstrated a competitive spirit in those matches, and it performed in a way that showed it may not be far away from ultimately winning some of those games and possibly even becoming a ranked team itself.
Indeed the team seemed to always be competitive in these matches, whether against #22 Missouri, a 1-0 loss, or vs. #5 Virginia, a game that the Lady Tigers forced into two overtimes, and which ultimately ended in 1-1 tie. And beyond the team's matches vs. these ranked titans, the team had a very strong record otherwise, only losing two games against non- ranked opponents. The highlights of the 2008 campaign were undoubtedly be the aforementioned match-up against Virginia as well as dominating wins over conference rivals Mississippi State and Alabama.
The Lady Tigers were a 2-headed offensive machine in 2008. The dynamic duo all of note was made up of Katy Frierson and Rebecca Howell. These two offensive weapons accounted for a combined 49 total points (Frierson had 25 to Howells 24). Frierson led the team in goals with nine, while Howell was the team's premiere assist maker, with a total of 12 assists on the year. Kara Kasten emerged as a specialty player of sorts, who the Lady Tigers often found themselves turning to when a goal was needed (she had seven on the season).
Auburn soccer began play in 1993 jumping straight in two SEC play in year one. During that inaugural season the team had modest success, posting a winning record of 7-6-3. The team played only a partial SEC schedule in season one. In year two, 1994, the team doubled its SEC schedule to four games and the team had an 11-6-3 record over the course of that season, finishing as the tournament runner up in the Southeastern Conference.
The team continued to perform at a high level over the next three seasons, making the SEC tournament semifinals twice, and losing in the quarterfinals the other time. The program fell onto hard times in 1998 in 1999, posting losing records during each of those two seasons. However in 2000, the team recovered to post a 13-7 seven record, and, in the following 2001 season, the team not only posted a winning record, but also advanced to the NCAA tournament. From that point on Auburn has traditionally posted good to very good records, and has traditionally been a power within the Southeastern Conference. Over the past 3 to 4 years, teams such as Florida and LSU seem to have usurped the Lady Tigers within the SEC, however Auburn's history lends to the idea that they will be back on top that some point.
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