Another weekend finished. Another weekend with two Auburn wins. Another two clean sheets.
Auburn has now matched the best start in school history with a 2-0 Friday win over Samford and a 1-0 Sunday win over Old Dominion.
Auburn 2, Samford 0
Sarah Le Beau saved the only two shots Samford was able to put on frame, and Auburn scored a goal in each half to come away with a 2-0 win over a good Bulldog squad. Auburn's backline held Samford without a shot on goal in the first half. Meanwhile, the Tigers were able to put in two goals, one in each half:
- Kristen Dodson (1st of the year), 45th minute: Just before the half, substitutes Charlotte Van Ishoven and Kristen Dodson combined with Casie Ramsier to give Auburn the lead. Van Ishoven sent in a cross to Ramsier in the box. Ramsier took a first-touch shot that was saved by Samford's keeper Peters. However, the rebound came out to Dodson, who slid it home in her first action of the season.
- Logan Beal (1), 50th minute: Kiana Clarke passed to Ellie Leek, who fired a low cross into the box for Beal. She fired it straight into the right corner for her first goal of the season.
Auburn 1, Old Dominion 0
Auburn put the finishing touches on a perfect weekend with another clean sheet from Le Beau. However, much of the credit should go to Kiana Clarke and Kala Faulkner. The Auburn centerbacks continually strangled the Monarchs attack and held them to just 4 shots, with only 1 requiring a save from Le Beau. Coach Hoppa credited an early lightning delay with allowing Auburn to regroup early and make the changes necessary to win. Auburn got the only goal they needed in the first half*:
- Courtney Schell (1) 29th minute: Auburn earned twelve corners on the afternoon, and this one gave them the game's only goal. They ran a neat little set piece play where everyone lined up on the goal line, then broke out into positions. Brooke Ramsier fired in a corner and found Schell at the back post. Her header beat the only defender in the area for the game winner.
What does it all mean?
Auburn really has been fantastic up to this point. Auburn has 39 shots on goal this season, for a 6.5 SOG/game average. They're holding their opponents to just 6.8 shots total. So they're taking good aim at plenty of opportunities. Auburn has earned 38 corner kicks and allowed only 17. That means they're aggressive in the attack, and they are also able to clear balls out of their own end without putting them behind for a set piece. Auburn has poured in 56 shots in the first half, while limiting their opponents to 14. They're jumping on their opponent and forcing them to play from behind.
What it really all comes down to is the goals against column. Auburn is the best in the country. I don't even have to look it up online. There's nothing lower than zero goals, at least until Everton loses Romelu Lukaku for a few games. That probably counts as negative.
On Friday, Auburn will put that shutout streak to the test in their first conference game of the season. It will come on the road against Missouri. Auburn didn't play the Other Other Tigers last year, so this should be new for both sides. On Sunday, they'll come home to play South Alabama. For now, Auburn is ranked 11th, but that should change when the new rankings are released later this week. I don't know if they'll come out of this weekend with the streaks intact, but I do know they'll play tough defense and make things tough on Mizzou and USA.