Auburn Soccer falls to LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Auburn soccer team mounted a furious last-minute rally but couldn't overcome the two-goal deficit it faced just three-and-a-half minutes into the second half, falling 2-1 at LSU on Sunday afternoon.

"We dug ourselves a hole (in the first half) and then we came out with a lot more urgency in the second half but LSU scored an early goal in the second half," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "The first half was really our issue. It was really a tale of two halves. We dominated the second half and they had the better play in the first half. We just have to be better at the start of the game."

LSU (4-5-3, 1-1-2 SEC) got the first of its three first half shots on goal in the 24th minute when Allysha Chapman split the Auburn backline and was 1v1 with Auburn goalkeeper Amy Howard in the Auburn net. Chapman took the shot from a step outside the 18 but Howard was able to get a glove on the shot, deflecting it up and over the net. The resulting corner finished with a Kellie Murphy goal, her first of the season, as she headed in a Taryne Boudreau service following the corner for the 1-0 lead.

Auburn (8-4-0, 2-2-0 SEC), which was held to just two shots in the first 45 minutes, collected its lone shot on goal of the first half a minute after the LSU goal when Julie King forced LSU goalkeeper Megan Kinneman into her first save of the match, taking a shot from outside the 18.

LSU wasted little time coming out of the break to take a 2-0 lead as Amy Porter found Natalie Martineau making a run into the box and she slotted her a pass that Martineau slotted to the post in the 49th minute for her fourth goal of the year.

A handball in the box by a LSU defender during an Auburn attack awarded Auburn with a penalty kick. Katy Frierson got the call from the coaches and she responded by ripping it past Kinneman for her seventh goal of the season, making it a 2-1 match in the 60th minute.

Auburn kept the offensive pressure up after the goal, at one point taking four consecutive corners, but Auburn could not get the finisher as LSU cleared out the fourth corner to mount a counter attack.

Julie King's header off a Frierson corner nearly tied the game with seven minutes left but Kinneman was up to the task, pushing it up and over the cross bar to force another Auburn corner, which LSU cleared out.

Frierson nearly tied it up in the final 15 seconds but her shot from a sharp angle was pushed out by Kinneman. The rebound went straight to Mary Coffed but her shot went wide.

"Their keeper (Kinneman) made some great saves at the end. We had good looks and I thought for sure we would get one in and LSU did a great job," Hoppa said.

Auburn took 10 second-half shots and out-shot LSU 12-9 in the match. I also and drew nine corners to just three for LSU.

Auburn returns home for its next two matches, facing South Carolina on Friday at 7pm and then Florida at 2pm on Sunday in a match that will be televised live on ESPNU.