It took just one goal to decide Sunday’s 1-0 match between Auburn and Ole Miss at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
Sophomore forward Tatiana Coleman thought she had that goal in the game’s 75th minute.
After trudging through a dreary, scoreless match in the drizzling rain, Coleman finally found an opening to attack Ole Miss goalkeeper Kelly McCormick.
But McCormick pulled off of her line, attacked, and blocked the shot.
“Against quality teams you’re not going to get very many chances, so I had to erase that out of my mind as soon as possible,” Coleman said.
Coleman’s short memory paid off for the Tigers. Just over a minute later, she got her next chance, and this time she took full advantage.
“I said ‘Just keep running at the defenders and it’s going to come sooner or later,'” Coleman said. “I was just really patient with it and used my body, used my strength the best I could, and slotted the goal.”
Coleman’s 76th-minute goal from 15 yards out proved to be the game-winner for the Tigers.
“For her to keep at it shows a great mentality, and a goal-scoring mentality,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “She doesn’t let the misses get her down. She just focuses on the next one.
“That won the game for us.”
Coleman’s goal marked the second in as many games for her, after she found the net during Auburn’s 4-2 come-from-behind victory over South Carolina on Friday night. For her efforts, Coleman was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.
“I’m feeling really good,” Coleman said on Sunday. “I’m getting the goals that I needed. I should’ve gotten more in the beginning of the season when I could, but now they’re coming I’m really happy with it.”
The Rebels outshot Auburn 16 to 15 during Sunday’s match, but senior goalkeeper Amy Howard was the difference for the Tigers, recording 7 saves in the shutout.
“It was a frustrating game and for a lot of that the credit goes to Ole Miss,” said Hoppa. “They played great soccer. They’re a very talented team and they made it hard for us to play. They took away a lot of the things that we were trying to do. A lot of credit goes to them, and I’m really proud of our girls for not getting frustrated and staying with it and getting the result.”
The Tigers continue their home stand this weekend as it hosts Misssissippi State Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Tennessee on Sunday at 1 p.m.
“We’ve really got to push,” Coleman said. “We’ve got Mississippi State, who’s also a good team. Any team in the SEC we have to take very, very seriously.”
TWER photos by Amy Thorington.
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