Auburn defeats Tennessee 3-1 to advance to semifinals
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -- Senior Casie Ramsier had a day to remember on the pitch as she scored three times to pace Auburn to a 3-1 victory against Tennessee on Wednesday. The Tigers (14-5-0) advance to the SEC Tournament Semifinals and will face the winner of the Arkansas-Vanderbilt matchup at 6 p.m. on Friday night.
"I thought Tennessee came out and pressed us hard in the beginning of the game and I felt we grew into the game," said head coach Karen Hoppa. "We started to solve the pressure and Tennessee was tournament-ready and we weren't quite. I was really happy with the way our team grew into the first half and then the second half we just exploded. What a tremendous performance from Casie Ramsier."
Casie Ramsier's three-goal performance was the first hat trick in a match since 2011. With all three goals coming in the final 45 minutes of play, the senior became the first Auburn player to record a hat trick in a half since 2000.
Ashton Brock, Kristen Dodson, Bri Folds, Haley Gerken and Brooke Ramsier all were able to connect with Casie Ramsier as they each registered an assist in the 90-minute tilt.
In the first half, Auburn built up a bevy of chances as the game moved along.
Nine minutes into the match, Kristen Dodson found the open space and blasted a shot that narrowly missed the frame. In the 33rd minute, Courtney Schell sent in a curling effort from just outside the box that the opposing goalkeeper was able to collect.
Neither team was able to score before the intermission, but the Tigers held a decisive 15-3 advantage in shots over the Volunteers (11-9-1).
Right out of the break, Auburn found its footing. Casie Ramsier took a service from Folds and flicked it over the keeper to put the No. 2 seed ahead 1-0 just two minutes into the half.
Six minutes later, Casie Ramsier took a layoff from Dodson and scorched the back of the net on a one-timer to double the lead at 2-0. That goal in the 54th minute gave the Dallas, Texas native her 34th career goal, elevating her to second all-time on the program's career scoring list.
Tennessee responded in the 56th minute when a through ball up the middle was finished at the near post to cut the deficit to one.
The Tigers added another in the 73rd minute when a feed from Brooke Ramsier found Casie Ramsier at the top of the box and the senior sliced it across the face of goal, finding the side netting.
Auburn held on in the final moments and took the result, 3-1.
"There were some great passes from my teammates and I was able to get on the end of them," stated Casie Ramsier. "I was just ready, knowing my teammates can get me the ball. I was just happy to see [the shots] go into the back of the net."
Casie Ramsier's second goal of the match served as the eventual match-winner and gave the senior a program record with her 12th career game-winning goal.
Auburn moves on to the semifinals and will play No. 3 seed Arkansas Friday night at 6 p.m. CT. The match will be televised on the SEC Network.