It was a defensive battle for the Georgia State women’s soccer team in its season-opening match, but Auburn came out on top with a 1-0 win over the Panthers in Auburn, Ala.
In the first half, it was all about defense for the Panthers. Auburn took 13 shots in the half, but junior goalkeeper Rebecca Ingram made a statement to the Tigers. She saved all five shots Auburn attempted on goal and kept the score at nil for the whole first half. The Panthers didn’t get off a shot despite moving the ball down field.
The trend carried over into the beginning of the second half. Auburn continued to take aim at the Panther goal and Ingram blocked the first five shots that came in the second half. Late at the 78th minute, Auburn’s Mary Coffed launched one that Ingram could not block. Auburn took a 1-0 lead that it would hang onto for the final 12 minutes.
With just under three minutes left, senior Carly Lafferty took Georgia State’s first and only shot of the game. By the end of 90 minutes, Ingram had an impressive start to the season with a total of 13 saves on fourteen shots on goal. Auburn ended with a total of 28 shots. Ingram was three saves off the Georgia State record, which is 16, last accomplished in 2009.
“(Rebecca) Ingram was awesome and almost kept a clean sheet,” coach Derek Leader said. “The whole back line, including (Elizabeth) Kinsel, (Leah) Beasley, (Alyssia) Feronti and (Bri) Pitre, played phenomenally all night. I’m really proud of the way these girls played against a quality opponent like Auburn. Unfortunately, in the end, we couldn’t force overtime.
“Now we need to find energy to turn around and play at home against Jacksonville State on Sunday.”
The Panthers will look to bounce back with a home match with Jacksonville State at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the GSU Soccer Complex.