Auburn triumphs in exhibition win at Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. In its first action against an opponent during the 2017 preseason, the Auburn women’s soccer team netted three goals in an exhibition victory at Georgia. Katie Hickman, Ellie Leek and Alyssa Malonson took care of the offense in the 3-2 win.

“I’m cautiously pleased,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “It’s only a starting point and we have a lot of work to do. For the most part, I’m happy with the effort.

“We’ve got a lot of things to fix and we’ve got to continue to get better, but if we can springboard from here, we’ll be really exciting this fall.”

Over 20 players saw action on the field for the Tigers, including 12 that made their debut in an Auburn kit.

Georgia scored the first goal of the match in the 11th minute to take a 1-0 lead.

Malonson opened the scoring for the Tigers in the 21st minute when she dribbled through the back line and finished to the far post in a 1-on-1 with the opposing goalie.

Just over 15 minutes later, Hickman doubled Auburn’s total just two minutes after entering the fixture. The freshman took a pass from Kristen Dodson in the box and flipped it over the line to give the Tigers the lead heading into halftime.

The Bulldogs knotted the match back up in the second half on a penalty.

Auburn’s final goal came in the 88th minute when Ellie Leek converted from the penalty spot to secure the 3-2 result.

“To get a win under our belt is awesome,” said Hickman following the exhibition. “[The result] starts the team morale really high.”

The Tigers close out the preseason Saturday when they welcome Samford for an exhibition. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Auburn Soccer Complex with free admission.