The 13th ranked Auburn Tigers (8-1-0, 1-1-0) come into this weekend with their first SEC win under their belts. Now they'll face a strong LSU squad and a top 10 Florida outfit that is historically the SEC's strongest program. The first RPI rankings of the season have the Tigers in good shape with a #21 ranking.
First, we need to look back at last weekend's game. Normally there would have been a review, but there was only one game.....ok and FIFA 16 came out on Tuesday. Fine, I said it.
5th Weekend Review
Auburn 3, Tennessee 1
Brooke Ramsier assisted on all three goals, and was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week for her efforts, as the Tigers handed Tennessee their first loss of the season. The Vols came in with a shutout streak of over 400 minutes and only one goal allowed on the season. Auburn managed to triple it in just 36 minutes, then poured in an insurance goal in the second half. Then win was Auburn's 100th conference victory all-time.
Auburn Goal Breakdown
- Sophie Simantel (1st of the year), 21st minute: Brooke Ramsier fired a corner kick at the near post and found the senior fullback for her third career goal. It was originally credited to Casie Ramsier, but replays showed it was Simantel that headed home Auburn's first goal.
- Charlotte VanIshoven (2), 36th minute: Brooke Ramsier and Beal worked the ball around the box to find the Belgian super-sub on the left side for her first goal since the opener. VanIshoven has scored both of her goals this season on the road.
- Kristen Dodson (2), 62nd minute: Brooke Ramsier sent a long through ball that Dodson ran onto in the left side of the 18-yard box. The sophomore forward then muscled past one Vol defender as she worked her way to the top of the box and fired a rocket back into the top left corner. Just a great piece of skill from Dodson. If she's getting close to 100%, Auburn could become very dangerous.
Tennessee Goal Breakdown
- Ariel Kupritz (2), 32nd minute: The Vol winger raced down Auburn's right flank from midfield, beat Kala Faulkner (not her best effort on this one, I must say, but maybe she thought she had help), then fired into the far corner past Le Beau.
Friday, LSU (7-1-2, 1-1-0)
The other Tigers come in on a 3 game win streak, including a wild 4-3 over Georgia last Thursday. They are led by defensive midfielder Natalia Gomez-Junco, the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, who also poured in two goals in the win over Georgia.
LSU's only loss this season came in double overtime on the road against Alabama. They're also currently on a 5 game losing streak against Auburn, with their last win in Auburn coming in 2009. The series itself has been marred by long winning streaks. Auburn won 5 in a row before a draw at the 2007 SEC Tournament. Then LSU won 4 in a row before Auburn's current 5 game streak.
LSU comes in ranked 32nd in the RPI, which was released Monday.
Sunday, Florida (7-2-0, 1-1-0)
The 9th ranked Gators come to town on Sunday. Florida plays both games on the road this weekend, with a trip to Nashville on Friday night. They are led in scoring by Savannah Jordan, who has scored 10 goals already this season, with a healthy 71% of her shots put on frame. Florida's goalkeeper situation appears to be a bit unsettled at the moment, with Kaylan Marckese starting their last SEC game, but Valerie Tysinger starting their last game, a win over Florida International.
Florida has long been the class of the SEC. The Gators didn't start conference play until 1995 (two years after Auburn), but one year later they started a 6 year run of winning the double (Regular Season and Tournament championship). In 1998, led by a freshman that would become the greatest women's soccer player in world history, they went 26-1 and scored an upset 1-0 win over North Carolina, in Greensboro, for the SEC's only soccer national championship to date. Florida has won the regular season title 13 times and the tournament title 10 times, winning the double 9 times.
Auburn's last win over Florida won the Tigers the SEC Tournament Championship in 2011. In the last meeting between the two in Auburn, the Gators got a golden goal in overtime for a 2-1 victory. Auburn must play their best game of the season in order to come away with a victory on Sunday.
Very Specific Predictions
I'm stealing this bit from The Total Soccer Show and Soccer Made in Portland. The idea is that I will make a score prediction and a very specific prediction about Auburn's matches, then revisit them in the next article to see just how wrong I was.
- LSU - Auburn wins 2-0. Both of Auburn's goals will directly involve Brooke Ramsier, whether by scoring or assist (hockey assists count, because the NCAA says so)
- Florida - 1-1 draw. Auburn comes out on fire and notches an early goal from Ellie Leek, but ships a goal late in the second half. Both teams will have good chances in the overtime periods, but neither can find the winner.