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Auburn comes from behind to defeat tenacious Army

96 days ago
Auburn Athletics
Photo: Auburn Athletics

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Auburn soccer completed its roadswing with a 3-2 victory against Army Sunday. The Tigers trailed 2-1 at the half but roared back with two goals in the final 45 minutes to clinch the 3-2 win and hand the Black Knights their first loss at Clinton Field since 2021.

Senior Anna Haddock became the hero in minute 61 after netting her second game-winner in three matches. She now has seven in her Auburn career.

"This was a really big weekend on the road for us, but our goal was always to come out with six points," Haddock said. "We toughed it out and got it done. Really great fight and response and an overall great defensive effort from the whole team today."

Statistically, Auburn had the slight edge with 14 shots generated compared to Army's 13. Both squads stuck seven on target and both keepers made five saves. The Tigers also created six corner kicks while the Black Knights could only muster one.

"What a crazy game," head coach Karen Hoppa said. "It wasn't our best soccer, but the girls found a way to win. That's what I'm really proud of. We knew Army would be tough and physical, but we fought hard, and we got it done versus a great team in a tough environment."

Army struck first in the 25th minute. Brigid Duffy broke through to give the Black Knights the temporary lead before senior Sammie Brown leveled the score 13 minutes later. Freshman Maquena O'Callaghan found the ball at her feet on the top left edge of the 18 and delivered a cross to an incoming Brown out near right post. Brown spun a defender and lapped the keeper thanks to a sliding right-footed shot that tucked inside right post. On the play, Brown scored her first collegiate goal and O'Callaghan racked up her first career assist. Fifth year Sydney Richards also earned an assist by passing the ball to O'Callaghan.

"I was just happy to be in the right place in the right time," Brown said. "Credit to Maq (O'Callaghan) and Syd (Richards) for doing their job out on the corner that allowed for that goal to happen. I'm happy that I could contribute to the result versus a strong team."

Army responded quickly with another goal in the 40th minute via Jordan Follenweider to take the 2-1 advantage into halftime.

Both Auburn's defense and offense put the game away in the final half. The Orange & Blue kept the Black Knights attack at bay while finding a pair of goals initiated by senior Olivia Candelino and Haddock to grind out the win.

Six minutes out of the break, in the 51st minute, the Tigers evened the score by creating an own goal. Sophomore Hayden Colson took a throw-in to Candelino who chipped over to a pressing Marissa Arias near right post, however, the pressure from Arias forced a Black Knights defender to boot the ball past her keeper and into the back of the net. Auburn scored again in the 62nd minute thanks to a rocket from distance off the right foot of Haddock. Haddock received the ball just past midfield from junior Carly Thatcher and proceeded to make a run right on goal. Just after entering the 18, Haddock veered left and crossed up a pair of defenders to create a slight window that was just enough. She then ripped off a shot that buzzed past the keeper and nestled itself in the left upper 90.

Haddock has now contributed to the offensive statline in all three of Auburn's wins this season.

Thanks in part to late appearances from some new faces like Erin Houston, Haley Duca and Maddy Bondon, the Tiger defense was able to close the game out and preserve the win.

Next, Auburn returns home to host Wake Forest Thursday, Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. CT. The match will be this season's Mental Health Awareness Night. A live stream will be available on SECN+.