SEC Bonus Game-BLOG Coverage #2 (Auburn-Ole Miss; mid-2nd half)

Chris Henderson's in-game reporting from the Auburn-Mississippi game:


2:18 – We're a little over 15 minutes away from the SEC Tournament Dark Horse Showdown between #3 Ole Miss and #6 Auburn.

2:21 – Ole Miss may be one of the more surprising teams in the nation.  They were one win against Vanderbilt away from winning the SEC regular-season title. Turnover was the name of the game for the Rebels over the offseason. There are 14 freshman, dubbed "The Herd" by those in the Ole Miss soccer family, and a few transfers also have come into the program with great effect.

2:22 – But maybe the most crucial decision that Ole Miss coach Steve Holeman made was moving all-SEC defender Danielle Johnson into the midfield. The young defense of the Rebels has been as mean as in years past and Johnson has looked at home in the midfield, chipping in with crucial goals all season.

2:24 – Part of that defense is walk-on sophomore goalkeeper Alley Ronaldi, who won the job in the middle of her freshman season and has been strong ever since.  On the other side of the coin in attack is Hannah Weatherly, who began the season injured but whose return to the lineup has keyed Ole Miss's run to the brink of the NCAA Tournament.

2:25 – For the 6th-seeded Auburn Tigers, a late run of good form has seen them qualify for the SEC Tournament with ease.

2:27 – Three straight wins by multiple goals have brought the Tigers onto the bubble of the NCAA Tournament. A win could seal their spot in the Big Dance.

2:27 – STARTERS ...  AUBURN - GK - Howard ... D - J. King, Towne, Schweer, Havron ... M - Yauch, Prescott, Frierson ... F - C. King, Howell, Coffed

2:29 – OLE MISS - GK - Ronaldi ... D - Snow, Hildal, Coleman, King, Breathitt ... M - Jordan, Johnson, Cohen ... F - Weatherly, Cunningham

2:31 – Auburn are precariously placed on the bubble. A loss could potentially make them sweat until Selection Monday. That draw against North Carolina earlier could very well be their trump card.

2:32 – Under way in Orange Beach, Auburn is attacking the clock end to the left of the pressbox.

2:32 – Auburn in all navy with orange trim and Ole Miss in all white with blue trim.

2:33 – Foreboding sign for Auburn? Cunningham blows right by Julie King near side but Auburn are on hand to clear away. The Rebels certainly don't lack pace up front with Weatherly and Cunningham in attack.

2:35 – GOAL - Coffed (Frierson) - AUBURN

2:36 – That's simply beautiful. Frierson takes the ball at the far edge of the box and spins around Dylan Jordan before sliding it across to Mary Coffed who passes into the far post side of the net.

2:37 – What a start for Auburn! They have as much on the line as anyone else in Orange Beach as far as NCAA hopes go, and they've certainly answered the bell coming out of the block.

2:39 – Jenni Prescott sees a shot curve wide from just outside the area.

2:41 – Cunningham gallops inside through the Auburn defense but her shot is far too high.

2:43 – Fabulous save by Howard to tip a stiff shot high into the air and one of her defenders heads it off the line and behind for a corner after an Auburn slip let Ole Miss into the area.

2:44 – Ole Miss is giving Mary Coffed a whole lot of room on the near side and the tall freshman is proving to be a handful early on.

2:45 – Ole Miss are rocking at the moment. Becca Howell finds Caitlin King with a gorgeous thru-ball and the senior forward beats Ronaldi but the post denies her the Tiger's second goal.

2:46 – Cohen nearly plays Breathitt through for Ole Miss but Howard comes sliding out off her line to claim.

2:47 – The size difference between the two teams is noticeable. Ole Miss looks bigger across the board.

2:48 – The Rebels are being beat to about every 50-50 ball at the moment.  Can they survive?

2:51 – Just an interesting note for Auburn, Lizzie Hamersly, possibly the Tigers's best defender is still out with a leg injury. The senior was previously thought to possibly be available for the SEC Tournament.

2:53 – Kelsey Breathitt nearly runs half the length of the pitch on the counter for the Rebels but is stuffed as she reaches the box.

2:54 – Great run by Cunningham through the middle before she belts a shot that Howard gets to. The Auburn defense and midfield is leaving a lot of space in between their lines for the Rebels to run into.

2:56 – Auburn defenders are standing off the Ole Miss forwards and the Rebels are increasingly marching forward, Cunningham hoofs another shot over the bar.

2:58 – Auburn foul gives Ole Miss a free kick from just under 30 yards

2:58 – The resulting shot is well over, continuing a trend for Ole Miss.

2:58 – IN - Marks, OUT - Howell (AUBURN)

3:01 – After a less than stellar start, it's been all Ole Miss as we get close to the half-hour mark. The Rebels are getting tons of space to work in in the middle third of the field.

3:03 – IN - Afanador, OUT - Prescott (AUBURN)

3:06 – IN - Curran, Mygatt, Wickham, OUT-Weatherly, Cunningham. Breathitt (OLE MISS)

3:07 – King recieves a thru-ball and has a chance to double Auburn's lead but her shot fizzes wide, toed away for a corner. Ronaldi punches Havron's corner out of danger.

3:07 – IN - Rightmer, OUT - C. King (AUBURN)

3:08 – Less than 10 minutes left in the half, Auburn clinging to a 1-0 lead.

3:16 – Frierson plays Coffed through but the forward is offside by a good few feet

3:16 – A lot of the energy is dipped away from the game as we edge towards the half.

3:17 – Fantastic pass from Coffed to Marks down the line. Marks cuts inside through the Ole Miss defense but Ronaldi goes down well to save.

3:17 – IN - Cate, OUT - Coffed (AUBURN)

3:18 – HALF-TIME - #6 Auburn - 1, #3 - Ole Miss 0

3:20 – Ole Miss paid for their slow start and are down by a goal at the half.  They came into the match more in the middle third of the half, but couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. Auburn soaked up a lot of pressure after they scored, I'm not sure they can keep doing that if they want to prevail here in Orange Beach.

3:23 – Stats at the half:   SHOTS: OLE MISS - 8, AUBURN - 5 ... SOG: OM - 4, AUB - 2 ...  CORNERS: OM - 1, AUB - 1

3:33 – These two teams are no strangers to exciting matches. Ole Miss won the regular season match in Oxford, 3-2 after extra time on a Hannah Weatherly penalty. They came back twice on that night to win.  An omen?

3:36 – About to get back under way in Orange Beach. Auburn 45 minutes away from a spot in the NCAA Tournament?

3:36 – Ole Miss now attacking the clock end from right to left.

3:37 – Ole Miss wins a corner just a little after a minute into the half.

3:38 – The corner's a waste, curving behind the goal.

3:39 – Frierson just misses high on a shot from distance. She has range from 35 yards+ and has scored some real scorchers during her time at Auburn.

3:40 – Birttany King gets onto a header, but nods it off a Tiger just wide.

3:41 – King gets onto the following corner and has a go from the edge of the area but her shot is wide.

3:43 – Dylan Jordan volleys just over the bar after some slick passing. Jordan took a lot of touches to work the ball around, maybe a few too many.

3:43 – Howard plucks a cross out of mid-air to deny Ole Miss once more.

3:45 – The Rebels are getting forward with increasing frequency. It's all-hands-on-deck as they try to defend their slim lead. 

3:47 – Great chance for Auburn, a shot by Howell is deflected to Marks who sees her shot tipped wide by Ronaldi

3:47 – GOAL - J. King (Frierson) - AUBURN

3:48 – Auburn has a foot in the semi-finals. Frierson whips in a perfect corner kick and Julie King comes flying in to head it home. Beautiful header. Great chance for Auburn, a shot by Howell is deflected to Marks who sees her shot tipped wide by Ronaldi

3:52 – How much does Ole Miss have left in the tank, now down by two goals?

3:53 – GOAL - Jordan (Weatherly) - OLE MISS

3:54 – A lot as it turns out. Weatherly crosses across the face of goal for Dylan Jordan  who is left with a simple headed finish to halve the deficit.

3:55 – Auburn now leads 2-1 with just over 27 minutes to play.

3:58 – Weatherly comes close to equalizing for Ole Miss with a vicious, dipping shot that just sails over the bar.

4:02 – Auburn have turned the offense back on and are keeping possession with a little more frequency with just twenty minutes left to play in regulation.

4:02 – IN - Coffed, OUT - Rightmer (AUBURN), IN - Mygatt, OUT - Cohen (OLE MISS)

4:03 – IN - Yauch, OUT - Prescott (AUBURN). Howell picks Caitlin King out with a nice cross and King wins a corner out of it.

4:04 – The Rebels deal with this one a little better, clearing the danger. 

 editor@collegesoccer360.com