Auburn Soccer and Where it Must Improve
If you’re like most Auburn Fans you’ve been focused on the tragedy of this years Football Season. But if you haven’t noticed Auburn Women’s Soccer is having a season to remember, sitting currently at 19th in the country after its loss to Georgia on Sunday by a score of 1-0 the Auburn Tigers are currently 13-4-0. With one game remaining in the SEC schedule and the SEC Tournament coming up in Orange Beach, Alabama. While enjoying the moment is alright it’s safe to say that its time to start looking towards next season and improving in some key areas.
While all four losses of the season came with in Auburn’s SEC schedule to the hands of unranked Missouri, #10 South Carolina, #21 Ole Miss, and unranked Georgia, Auburn managed to win games against #9 Florida,which managed to beat instate rivals and #3 in the country Florida State, and #17 Texas A&M was less than impressive when it came to scoring.
In Need of Defenders
In SEC play auburn managed to score 18 goals, but while that may seem like a lot given most SEC teams are unranked Auburn managed give up 14 Goals. If we are going to compete with the top dogs across the nation we need to get defense in check. Karen Hoppa has a lot on her hands when it comes to preparing defenders for next season. Hoppa only has 6 defenders on the roster, of those six defenders two are seniors the rest compose of one junior and 3 freshmen. Hoppa needs to be able to recruit more defenders before next season or move around some of her midfielders she has on the roster into more of a defensive role. #7 Hannah Alspach, who is listed as a Forward on the roster, has made the transition to defender so it seems, considering every time there is a game and she is on the pitch she is playing at the left back position.
Forwards and Pace
The next problem is the lack of Forwards or in a more detailed manor the lack of chances created. While scoring 18 Goals in Conference and 11 Goals in Non-Conference games there seems to be a lack of pace. If you have attended an Auburn Soccer game you can very much interpret the game plan of, “pass the ball to the outside and let our wingers run and cross it in.” In no way is this a bad idea but it becomes predictable after 15 minutes. Auburn needs someone with pace and the dribbling skills to run through the heart of midfield and defenders to help balance out the game plan. It would help the outside wingers by receiving the pressure on them and also gave Auburn more attacking angles to work with in a game. Coach Hoppa has a done an amazing job of recruiting a lot of freshman forwards on the roster so it will be exciting to see what they can do at the beginning of next season.
Only time will show if Auburn has what it takes to become a dominate player is Women’s Soccer and after the success of this season I believe Coach Hoppa is leading Auburn in the right direction.
Leave comments below on what you think Auburn can do to improve and hopefully in the coming years win a National Championship in Soccer.