Mississippi Digital Magazine

Tigers defense shuts out Mississippi State for 1-0 win

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The Auburn defense was able to hold its opponent scoreless for the first time in the last seven games, a second-straight SEC win for the Tigers this week.

Tied all the way down to minute 80, the Tigers (6-3-5, 2-3-1) were able to pull ahead for a 1-0 victory in a game that seemed destined to be scoreless. Senior Sydney Richards was racing to the Bulldog goal, but crossed from the left side of the keeper’s box to the right post, where sophomore Carly Thatcher was waiting.

 

Thatcher put in a major effort, sliding to take the ball into the goal with her body. She had multiple threats earlier in the game, with passes from Olivia Candelino and Grace Sklopan that were well-placed but ultimately didn’t end up where they needed to. 

“It’s an awesome feeling,” Thatcher said. “We stayed patient the whole game because we knew that chance would come and then it happened. Mississippi State is a great team, but we were able to pick out the second balls and stay aggressive and stay patient. Now, we’ve got two big wins in a row, and I know it’s only up from here.”

The pass from Sklopan would have been a goal if not for a save from Bulldog keeper Mac Titus, an Alabama native in her first start due to an injury to their usual starter. 

“It’s a massive win,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “That’s a great Mississippi State team. It’ll prove to be a key result for us later in the year, and boy, we needed it. I thought we were better today than we were last time out, so I am super proud of this team and know that they’re only going to keep building from here.”

The Tigers held firm control for most of the game, outshooting Mississippi State 14-7 and landing six of those on goal. Thatcher was an offensive weapon, contributing three of those. M.E. Craven had two of her own and the Bulldogs were only able to get one on-goal shot. 

Auburn set the tone with its numerous corner kicks and effective set pieces. The Tigers took 10 corner kicks and held Mississippi State to just three. 

Goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska did her job to earn the team’s sixth shutout of the season. The back line of Craven, Madeline Moore, Hailey Whitaker and Hayden Colson held firm in front of Prohaska to send six of seven Bulldog shots away.

“Our defense was really strong today,” Prohaska said. “No matter who was on the field, all 11 players contributed to our defensive success. We really emphasized extra effort today, and everyone definitely showed that. This win was super important as we start to find some offensive success in the final stretch of SEC play. We’re going to celebrate this win, then get our sights set on the next one.”

The Tigers hit the road again for their next SEC game, a trip to face Texas A&M (7-5-3, 1-4-1) that is just five days out from their Sunday game in Auburn. The travel and road environment will be a test for the Tigers.


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