It has been a long season for the Auburn Tigers soccer team filled with some great moments, such as beating Alabama in order to make the SEC Tournament. It’s also been filled with heartbreak, like losing to the Florida Gators on penalty kicks in the opening round of the SEC Tournament.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie, which means the game must by decided by penalty kicks. Florida made two of its three penalty kicks to take the lead, and while Gianna Montini made one of the Tiger’s penalty kicks, Florida’s goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese ended Auburn’s hope by stopping the Tigers fifth and final kick to preserve the win for the Gators.
Tigers head coach Karen Hoppa reflected on the loss.
“It’s a heartbreaker,” coach Hoppa said. “We did everything we needed to do to win, we just didn’t get the bounce at the end of the day. We took it to them for the last 70 minutes of the game and created 25 scoring opportunities. We just needed one more ounce of composure. Unfortunately, we didn’t have it.”
The Tigers main issue, which has been an issue most of the season, is a lack of scoring. Most of the Auburn’s close losses this season was because they didn’t have enough scoring to get them to the finish line- this game was a perfect example of that.
Plenty of defense, but not enough offensive power.
So what’s next for the Tigers? Hopefully, a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
“We’ll obviously learn from this,” Hoppa said. “It’s definitely great experience going into NCAAs. We’re going to learn from this game and get ready for our first round NCAA game, wherever and whoever that may be.”
Because of how good they are defensively, Auburn can be a dangerous team in the NCAA Tournament and any team that faces them shouldn’t take them for granted.
Auburn will know Monday whether or not if they made the NCAA Tournament.