The following is a press release from Auburn Athletics.
TROY, Ala. – No. 14 Auburn remained unbeaten to start the season as the Tigers defeated Troy, 2-1, Thursday night at the Troy Soccer Complex.
The win was Auburn’s eighth straight dating back to last spring, marking the second longest winning streak in program history.
“We had a great weekend last weekend, and with a young team, being able to respond after a big win and trying to get a result on the road is a big challenge,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “All the credit to Troy. They played a fantastic game, but I’m proud of my team for managing the game and coming out with a road result.”
Hannah Waesch and M.E. Craven found the back of the net for the first time this season to account for Auburn’s scoring in the contest.
Anna Haddock got on the scoresheet for the third straight game with a pair of assists, and Olivia Candelino pitched in with an assist on the first goal of the game, marking her first point of the season.
Waesch got the scoring started in the 24th minute as she found the back of the net off a deflection from the goalkeeper after hitting a shot off the far post. Candelino and Haddock played a pair of horizontal passes near the top of the box to find Waesch in space, and the sophomore midfielder finished with the left foot.
“I intercepted the ball from their center back and found an open gap to the outside,” Waesch said. “(Candelino) played a great ball into Anna at the top of the box, and she made a great reserve pass to me. I just placed it back corner.”
Less than 10 minutes later, Haddock served a corner kick to Craven making a near post run in the middle of the box, and the senior defender rose above her Trojan counterpart to finish the header and double Auburn’s advantage before halftime. The goal marked the first of her Auburn career and was ultimately the difference in the game.
“It’s been something I’ve been working on,” Craven said of her header. “I wanted to get us up more than one goal to give us a nice buffer. When Anna served that ball, I knew I had to get my head on it and get a goal.”
The Tigers (3-0-0) dominated the possession in the first half, taking an 11-1 shot advantage into halftime. However, after holding Troy (2-1-0) to just two shots in the first 60 minutes of action, the Trojans cut the Tigers’ lead to one as Taytum Terrell hit a volley into the back of the net in the 61st minute.
Troy fought for the equalizer, but the Auburn defensive unit buckled down to hold the Trojans in check in the final stages. The game marked the 11th straight dating back to Nov. 17, 2020 in which the Tigers have allowed one of fewer goals.
“I thought we really did a good job the last 10 minutes of limiting Troy to no real dangerous opportunities,” Hoppa added. “I thought we kept the ball well, we held it in the corner well, and that’s really good experience for our young team.”
Seventeen Tigers ultimately saw action in the contest, including eight who played 60 or more minutes. Senior captain Olivia Dedels and sophomore Maddie Simpson both made their season debuts in the contest.
Auburn faces its second in-state foe of the weekend, traveling to Mobile for a matchup with South Alabama (2-1-0) Sunday at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
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