After four straight home games, the undefeated Tigers must take their show on the road to start conference play on Friday. Then on Sunday they'll come home to face in-state foe South Alabama.
Friday, September 11 @Missouri (2-1-3, 0-0-0)
Let's break down the basic stats between the two teams:
|Per Game Averages||Auburn||Missouri|
|Shots on goal||6.5||7.5|
|Goals allowed||A BIG OL ZERO Y'ALL||0.67|
|Shots on goal allowed||2.67||3.33|
Missouri has managed more shots and more shots on goal than Auburn, but they've had fewer goals. The cynical take would be that they're pumping the ball at the goal without trying to take the best possible shot. The glass-half-full take would be that they've been a bit unlucky to have only scored 6 goals to this point. They also allow more shots and shots on goal per game, so their games appear to be much more of an offensive flurry. That isn't something I expected to find after seeing that they played in two scoreless ties last weekend against Oregon State (H) and Northwestern (A).
One advantage that Missouri has is that they've been tested. They've played an AAC team (SMU), three B1G teams (Indiana, Purdue, and Northwestern, all away from home), 1 PAC 12 team (Oregon State), and 1 Big XII team (TCU). Getting through that type of schedule with only one game dropped is pretty stellar. An Auburn team now ranked ninth in the coaches' poll is not going to frighten them.
Missouri also has a logjam atop the goals-scored list: every goal has been scored by a different player. Hopefully Auburn keeps that the same and drops their goals/game average.
Players to watch: Reagan Russell (leads Mizzou in shots), Candace Johnson (took their only PK, so that shows what she means to the team), Amanda Shaw (10 shots despite not starting a game, so a dangerous sub), Kelsey Dossey (first choice goalkeeper)
Sunday, September 13 vs South Alabama (5-1-0)
It doesn't get much easier on Sunday.
|Per Game Averages||Auburn||South Alabama|
|Shots on goal||6.5||8.5|
|Goals allowed||A BIG OL ZERO Y'ALL||0.83|
|Shots on goal allowed||2.67||4.83
USA's goals per game numbers are eye-popping at first. However, 7 of their 15 goals this season were scored against UT-Martin. The Skyhawks might look like Auburn, but I think the Tigers will provide a tougher test for the Jaguars. They're also allowing plenty of opportunities for their opponents to find the back of the net. However, they've made the stops so far.
USA already has claimed one victory over an SEC team: a 1-0 win in Starkville. Auburn must not take them lightly. They're led offensively by Charde Hannah with 4 goals on 17 shots (9 on goal). Sarah Hay and Courtney Baum have split the time between the posts evenly, so there's no clear indication on who will start there. Either way, Auburn should get a great test from South Alabama.
USA does have a game on Friday at Southeastern Louisiana.
Both of this weekend's games will be available for streaming on WatchESPN as SECNetwork+. If you are in town on Sunday, you should absolutely make it out to the Auburn Soccer Complex to watch these Tigers keep their run going.