AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn soccer team (8-6-5) advanced to its fourth straight NCAA Tournament Second Round with a 1-0 win against Hofstra (15-4-2) Friday night at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
With the win, the Auburn senior class becomes the first in program history to win a NCAA Tournament game in each of its four seasons on The Plains. It also marks the Tigers' sixth straight win in the first round dating back to 2011.
"It's unfortunate this game was in the first round, because those were two great teams," said head coach Karen Hoppa." I'm really proud of our girls. It wasn't the prettiest soccer, and that's credit to Hofstra's pressure, but we found a way. I'm proud of our effort, and we are excited to survive and advance."
Sophomore forward Bri Folds accounted for Auburn's scoring in the match as she netted her fourth goal of the season. Running mate Kristen Dodson pitched in with her 28th career assist and 86th career points - both good for fourth in program history.
On the opposite end of the field, goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau and the Auburn back line pitched their eighth shutout of the season. The shutout was Le Beau's 21st of her career, moving her one shy of a tie for second in program history.
"Our defense was outstanding under a lot of pressure and dealing with a lot of direct balls," Hoppa added. "They handled it really well. The few times (Hofstra) got in behind, Sarah was great for us."
After the two teams battled to a hard-fought draw in the first 63 minutes of the match, Bri Folds broke the scoreless tie with her second game-winning goal of the season and third of her two-year career. Dodson took possession in the Auburn half and played Folds into the top-right corner of the 18-yard box. The Lakeland, Fla., native then cut to her left to avoid a Pride defender and fired a left-footed strike that curved around the mitts of a diving Hofstra goalkeeper.
From there, Caroline Bado and the Auburn back line continued to shut down the Hofstra attack led by Kristin Desmond and held the Pride scoreless for the first time since Sept. 10 and the fourth time this season.
"It's survive and advance," Le Beau said. "We know it's never going to be easy in the postseason because everyone is playing at their best level. This upcoming week, we're going to need more productive days of practice like we had leading up to this game." Auburn will await the winner of No. 1 Stanford and Utah Valley State, who square off in the first round in Palo Alto, Calif., tomorrow at 9 p.m. CT.