LOS ANGELES -- The greatest season in Auburn soccer history came to a close in a 1-0 defeat to USC on Friday afternoon.
The Tigers (17-7-0) held a 12-11 advantage in shots in the 90-minute affair and were paced by Casie Ramsier who had five.
Sarah Le Beau went the distance between the posts and touted a tournament-best six saves.
"Congratulations to USC," said head coach Karen Hoppa. "They're a great team and Keidane [McAlpine] is one of my best friends, so I'm happy for him and they played a great game. Like most sports, soccer is a game of inches and they caught one break early. I felt it was a great soccer game. There were chances both ways, it was wide open and both teams played their game.
"I'm really proud of my team. They laid it all on the line and played their hearts out."
The Trojans (17-4-2) got on the board just four minutes into play when a cross was sent into the box and was finished at the near post.
Auburn responded right away by lacing four shots and earning a corner across the next 25 minutes, including a free kick by Courtney Schell, but were unable to find the back of the net.
Just before the intermission, Le Beau kept things where they stood when she made a diving save in a 1-on-1 situation. USC led 1-0 at the half.
Coming out of the break, the defense continued to fend off the USC front line.
Kiana Clarke, Karli Gutsche, Samantha Solaru and Taylor Troutman all thwarted dangerous chances by the Trojans in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.
The Tigers had their best chance for an equalizer in the 73rd minute when an advanced Clarke played a ball into the box that Kristen Dodson latched on to and fired a header that was saved off the line.
USC held on in the final moments and took the result, 1-0.
The careers of Haley Gerken, Brooke Ramsier, Casie Ramsier, Alyse Scott, Clarke and Solaru all came to an end after the final whistle blew, but not without raising the bar for the future of the program.
"Our senior class, what an unbelievable career," stated Hoppa. "Not just this year, obviously, but the four years they've had here. They came in a time when we were rebuilding and every year we've gotten better. They've taken us to new heights and they've set new standards for Auburn soccer."