“BYU may very well be the hardest place to play in the country. You are dealing with altitude, (cold) weather, and phenomenal crowds but we are certainly excited for the challenge.”
That’s the way Auburn Head Soccer Coach Karen Hoppa described the challenge her Tigers face in playing their second round NCAA Tournament game at the home of the No.2 Cougars in Provo, Utah.
Hoppa’s squad will be looking to set another historic record Thursday in attempting their second NCAA Tournament victory in a row on an opponent’s home field. Their first time came last weekend in the first round as they defeated the Washington Huskies 2-1 in Seattle.
It will be a tall task for the Tigers as BYU comes into the match with a potent offense and a stingy defense, having scored 49 goals while surrendering only 11. Auburn has scored 35 goals and allowed 28.
Ranked No. 2 in the polls and the top seed in Auburn’s bracket, BYU is the highest ranked team Auburn has faced since playing to a scoreless draw against No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 20, 2009. However, Auburn has had success against top five-ranked teams, going 2-1-2 all-time against them. A win would propel Auburn into their first ever Sweet 16.
Should Auburn advance to the Sweet 16, the Tigers will face the winner of the Marquette vs. Princeton match on Saturday. Auburn has never faced Princeton in soccer but the Tigers are 2-1-0 all-time against Marquette, with the last meeting coming Aug. 27, 2010 in Milwaukee.
Auburn fans can view Thursday’s game live on BYUTV on DirectTV (Ch. 374), Dish Network (Ch. 9403) or on line at www.byutvsports.com/gameday. WEGL 91.1 FM Radio will also broadcast the game in the Auburn area.
Good luck Tigers and War Eagle!
Tigers Edged by Cougars 1-0 on a late penalty kick with 44 seconds to go.
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