Coming into Saturday’s game at Regal Stadium, goalkeeper Julie Eckel and the Tennessee Volunteers had only allowed one goal on the season. But the Auburn Tigers managed to score three, putting an end to Tennessee’s undefeated season.
UT’s passing was subpar throughout the game, in part due to Auburn’s outstanding defensive gameplan. The Tigers committed a midfielder to following star freshman Katie Cousins around whenever the Vols had possession.
With one of their primary creative outlets unable to make anything happen, Tennessee’s offense was lackluster. The Vols have averaged 17.3 shots and seven shots on goal per game so far this season. Against Auburn, they only had 13 shots and five on goal.
Auburn dominated possession for most of the game, and their trio of goals came on 15 shots. The first goal came in the 20th minute. Brooke Ramsier took a corner kick and found her twin sister Casie Ramsier, who headed the ball over Eckel’s outstretched hands.
It was the first goal conceded by Eckel in 384 minutes of play. The Volunteers managed to tie the game 12 minutes later on a beautiful solo goal by Ariel Kupritz, but most of the first half was dominated by the Tigers, who regained the lead in the 37th minute on a goal from Charlotte Van Ishoven.
For UT, things began to look better after halftime. Eckel made a save in the 56th minute, stopping Ellie Leek from doubling the Auburn lead on a one-on-one chance. On the other side of the field, Tennessee had several chances, all of which were wasted. Though the Vols weren’t finishing well, momentum had begun to shift their way, and it looked like the breakthrough was going to come at any minute.
Unfortunately for the home team, it didn’t. Auburn scored another goal in the 62nd minute, this one by Kristen Dodson, and it was all over for the Volunteers. The Tigers had a two-goal lead and once again began to dominate, not allowing a single shot from the Vols after the 69th minute.
On Friday, Sept. 25, Tennessee (5-1-3, 1-1-0 SEC) will look to get back on track at Mississippi State.
Edited by Cody McClure