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Iron Bowl of Soccer: Auburn Beats Alabama, again

Auburn's senior class will graduate without a loss to their in-state rival

Just because you usually win a certain trophy doesn't make it fun to celebrate
Just because you usually win a certain trophy doesn't make it fun to celebrate
Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics

There is only one game this week for Auburn's top-ten rated soccer program, and it was last night. The Tigers took on their arch-rival in Tuscaloosa for a prime-time SEC Network bout. Ninety minutes weren't enough to decide things, but the Tigers were able to win their fourth straight over Alabama with a double-overtime golden-goal from Taylor Troutman. Let's break it down:

Auburn 2, Alabama 1 (2 OT)

Box ScoreHighlights

On paper, this game shouldn't have been this close. Alabama had stumbled to a 4-6-2 (1-3-0) record coming into the game, and Auburn has shown they're one of the top teams in the SEC this season. However, anyone familiar with these universities knows that any competition between them is never short on passion. Though Auburn controlled the game early, getting a goal within the 2nd minute, Alabama fought back after halftime. The Tide came after Auburn again and again, controlling the midfield and forcing Sarah Le Beau to make several amazing saves. Even though they tied it, in truth Alabama may have been a bit unlucky that the game required overtime.

Unfortunately for Alabama, Le Beau was able to keep them at bay until the first 90 minutes had expired. From then on, Auburn controlled the game. The Tigers had plenty of chances to win the game in the first overtime, but were unable to push through the winner. Commentators Glenn Davis and Heather Mitts thought that Alabama might have the upper hand when the teams changed sides in the second overtime period, since there was a stiff wind that made clearances difficult at one end. Instead, Auburn once again controlled the game through the midfield, finally getting the winner on a brilliant cross from Hannah Alspach.

Auburn Goal Breakdown

  1. Kala Faulkner (2nd of the season), 2nd minute: Brooke Ramsier drove a left corner kick towards the far post. The ball was centered towards Kristen Dodson. Dodson gave the ball a slight flick-on back to an unmarked Kala Faulkner. Auburn's captain calmly booted it in for a 1-0 lead
  2. Taylor Troutman (3), 103rd minute: Courtney Schell found Hannah Alspach with plenty of room on the right flank. Alspach was never challenged and hit a perfect cross towards the left post. Alabama's Jordan Meier got caught ball-watching as Troutman raced in behind her. Troutman easily headed the ball past keeper Kat Stratton for the winner.
Alabama Goal Breakdown

  1. Tori Gann (1), 65th minute: Alabama finally got one past Le Beau to tie the game after controlling it for most of the second half. There wasn't really much Le Beau could do. A cross from Celia Jimenez was deflected by Auburn, but found it's way to the feet of Gann with a clear path to goal. She raced in on Le Beau and fired it through to tie the game.
Give Alabama credit. Facing the #8 team in the nation, they could have folded up shop when Auburn went ahead 1-0 before the game was 100 seconds old. They fought hard to tie the game, and only great goalkeeping from Le Beau kept them from winning it. I expected a dogfight coming into this one. Alabama captain Abby Lutzenkirchen knows what this rivalry means as well as anyone. We'll see if they're able to build on this performance down the stretch.

For Auburn, this was a tough, hard-fought win. Against any other team with Alabama's record, I would be disappointed that it took 103 minutes to decide. But when you beat your arch-rival, on the road, for the fourth time in a row, and the ninth time in ten meetings, all that matters is the W. The Tigers now get a full week off before a showdown with 10th ranked South Carolina in Columbia. The Gamecocks are currently 4-0-0 in conference play, but they do have a game at Arkansas on Friday night.

War Eagle!