Auburn pushes past Utah State
Frierson, Ball assist Tigers in defensive battle
AUBURN, Ala. – Katy Frierson scored her ninth goal of the season and Tori Ball added a second half score as Auburn advanced to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Championship with a 2-1 win against Utah State.
“First, I’ll say that Utah State played a great game,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “They gave themselves a chance to win the game late by scoring a good goal. That is a real quality team that we beat tonight. I thought we scored two world-class goals. The individual efforts by Katie Frierson and Tori Ball were tremendous. That was the difference in the game.”
Frierson’s goal came in the 17th minute when she created an opportunity from just outside the box and buried in the upper right corner of the net.
The Tigers (15-6-2) widened their lead to 2-0 in the 57th minute when freshman Tori Ball chested a header from Kim Spence and then fired past Utah State’s sprawling goalkeeper Molli Merrill. The goal was Ball’s fourth of the year, while the assist upped Spence’s season total to four.
Utah State (15-5-2) closed to within one goal just minutes later when Kendra Pemberton tucked a rebound into the back of the Auburn net with 26:54 remaining in the game.
The Aggies had multiple chances late in the match, including a corner kick and free kick just outside the box in the final two minutes, but Auburn’s defense held strong to secure the win and end Utah State’s season.
“We have to keep getting better,” Ball said. “We have to improve on our combinations and keep on improving. The goal is to go from good to great.”