Auburn Topples No. 5 Florida State
Sept. 4, 2010
Courtesy of Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. - Katy Frierson's strike from just outside the 18 with 2:57 left in the second overtime period sent the Auburn soccer complex into a frenzy as the Auburn soccer team upset No. 5 Florida State, 3-2, on Friday night, marking Auburn's first win over the Seminoles since 1995 and its first win over a top-five team since 2004.
"It is so early in the season that you don't quite know what your team is made of and you don't quite know their character in games when they face adversity but I think we learned a lot about this team (tonight)," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. "It shows a ton of character to tie the game with less than three minutes left and then win in overtime against the number five team in the country."
Auburn (3-1-0), which trailed 1-0 at the break, was able to get the equalizer in the 74th minute when Frierson started a breakaway, slotting a pass to Lydia Townsend 30 yards out. Townsend, who had a defender on her hip for the length of her run, was able to chip a shot over Florida State goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, who came out to the top of the 18 to stop the play, the first goal allowed by Florida State this season.
"It was a great ball from Katy," Townsend said. "Their center back is one of their strongest players and I just recognized that she had overcommitted to the left side. Knowing that in a foot race she probably wasn't going to beat me, I recognized that I had an open gap. That put pressure on their other center back and that led to the goal."
Florida State (3-1-0) took the momentum back 10 minutes later when Janice Cayman headed in her third goal of the season from the top of the six only to have Auburn answer back less than four minutes later on Jessica Rightmer's second goal of the season. This time it was a relentless Auburn attack that produced the goal as Auburn pounded three straight shots on Wys and the Florida State defense before Rightmer settled a ball a step inside the 18 and beat Wys to tie the game at 2-2.
"Gabi (Rivera) played a great ball in to Mary Coffed and it was kind of bouncing around," Rightmer said. "I was fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time. The work from everyone in the box (created the goal) because our whole team was in there."
"We were determined not to let them beat us like they have in the past," Frierson said. "We were playing with a lot of urgency and it was crucial for us to get the first goal. When they went ahead, 2-1, no one hung their heads. We kept fighting for each other and we got the second one."
Each team only got one shot off in the first overtime, though it looked like Mary Coffed had a game-winner for Auburn but her shot went just wide, hitting the outside of the netting. That set the stage for Frierson, who has collected a game-winner each time she has scored this season. Taking only Auburn's second corner of the match, Heather Havron sent one into the mix, which Florida State tried to clear out. However, Coffed was able to get just enough of a touch on the ball to find an unmarked Frierson just outside the 18, who ripped a shot through the defense and past Wys for Auburn's first win over Florida State since the first meeting between the two teams.
"Heather played a great ball and it forced Florida State to scramble to clear it," Frierson said. "Mary Coffed was fighting off a defender and she got a huge touch to me and I just tried to strike it and keep it on frame."
"We could have put our heads down when Cofffed missed that opportunity in the first overtime period and we didn't. We knew we were getting chances and we knew we were getting really good looks," Hoppa said. "Even on Katy's goal we had a couple of good looks and they blocked it. We thought we were going to score earlier and Coffed just pops it out to Katy. There is a reason she was ranked by TopDrawerSoccer as the number one player in the country."
Florida State took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute when Ines Jaurena converted on a penalty kick after Auburn was called for a foul a step inside the box.
Auburn's last win over a top-five team came on Sept. 26, 2004, when it beat No. 4 Florida, 1-0, in Auburn.
Florida State had won eight straight matches over Auburn before Friday night.
Auburn returns to the field at 2pm on Sunday when it plays host to Western Carolina at the Auburn Soccer Complex.