Sept. 24, 2004
Auburn, Ala. – A goal by Sarah Steinmann in the middle of the first period was enough to push Auburn past the USC women’s soccer team 1-0 in the SEC opener on Friday night at the AU Soccer Complex. Auburn improves to 6-2 and 1-0 in the SEC while the loss drops South Carolina to 6-4 and 0-1 in the conference.
“I don’t think we played our best and we made a mistake in the first half, Auburn took advantage and scored,” said USC head coach Shelley Smith. “Auburn’s a good team and we’re a good team but we can’t sit back and give them the chance they had. There were some players who played very well for us and some that didn’t play as well. We have to play as a group, be on and work for each other. We can’t let down and expect to be covered all the time.”
Auburn went ahead at 29:17 on a goal by Tiger forward Sarah Steinmann, her fourth of the season. Off the giveaway by USC, Steinmann dribbled to outside the “18” on the far side and knocked a shot past USC goalkeeper Laura Armstrong to give the Tigers a one-goal lead. Auburn controlled the offensive play for a majority of the first half and held a 7-0 shot advantage.
South Carolina had some opportunities in the early periods of the second half to tie the match. On a giveaway by Auburn goalkeeper Megan Rivera, USC midfielder Ashley Kirk knocked a shot from 20 yards out that almost went over the head of Rivera at 55:06. Five minutes later, Carolina forward Ashley Williams got past the Auburn defense inside the box on the far side but knocked a shot wide of the goal. Later in the half, Williams again beat the Auburn defense on a long serve by Jessi Swaim but was denied on her second chance as Rivera came out of the goal to save Williams shot, her second save on the evening.
South Carolina goalkeeper Laura Armstrong played well in goal despite the loss. Armstrong had five saves on the evening with Rivera finishing with two for Auburn. Auburn finished with a 10-4 shot advantage.
South Carolina returns to action on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET in a contest at Alabama. Live stats will be available at www.uscsports.com.