Tigers Spoil Soccer Dogs' Homecoming, 5-0

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Senior Ashley Willis punched in two goals and assisted on two others to help pace a potent Auburn offense while the visitors' defense handled a handful of Mississippi State scoring chances to help the Tigers spoil the Mississippi State soccer team's first home game in three weeks with a 5-0 victory over the Bulldogs Friday evening at the MSU Soccer Field.

Auburn (4-7-1, 3-2-0 SEC) outshot the Maroon and White (1-8-3, 0-5-0) in both halves, including a 10-3 advantage in the second period, to exit the contest with a 16-5 shot disparity. The win marked the fourth consecutive series victory for the visitors, while the Tigers matched a series high for goals in handing MSU its most lopsided setback since a 6-0 loss to Florida on Oct. 26, 2001. The loss also marked State's first at home this season.

"We got beat by the better team tonight," said Mississippi State head coach Neil Macdonald. "They have a squad of players who are all technically good. Their passing and movement was first class and that let them pick us apart throughout the course of the game."

Auburn tallied a pair of shots and two corner kicks to set the tempo early in the first half, but State would get a quality chance moments later when Tiger netminder Anna Fiser was caught napping and came off her line slow. Jessica Davis collected a shot from just outside the box but her chance sailed wide right of an open goal to keep the score at a deadlock.

After having a handful of chances over the next seven minutes stuffed by the MSU defense, the Tigers would get off the mark in the 10th minute when Kristin Stewart took control of a deflection off an MState defender and found herself one-on-one with goalkeeper Emily Meyers. The Tigers would use a Willis goal 17 minutes later to take a 2-0 advantage into the halftime break.

Auburn would pad its cushion out to three just 68 seconds into the second stanza on Jenn Johnson's first goal of the season, then pushed its lead out to four on Willis' second goal of the game one minute and 38 seconds later. MSU would hold AU scoreless for the next 40 minutes of play before Leah Blayney provided the final at the 87:01 mark when she tapped in MSU netminder Stephanie Dallas' short clearance.

Mississippi State will continue a four-game homestand on Sunday when the Bulldogs welcome SEC West rival Alabama (6-4-2, 0-3-2) to the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff has been slated for 1 p.m.

At Starkville, Miss. (MSU Soccer Field)

Auburn 2 3 - 5
Mississippi State 0 0 - 0

9:23--AU--Kristin Stewart (Ashley Willis)
26:28--AU--Ashley Willis (Kristin Stewart)
46:08--AU--Jenn Johnson (Ashley Willis)
47:38--AU--Ashley Willis (Jada Stewart)
87:01--AU--Leah Blayney (Unassisted)

Shots: AU 16 (Power 4), MSU 5 (Davis 2).
Shots On Goal: AU 9 (Willis 2), MSU 0.
Saves: AU 0, MSU 4 (Meyers 3).
Corner Kicks: AU 12, MSU 0.
Fouls: AU 4, MSU 10.
Cautions And Ejections: None.
Offsides: AU 2, MSU 0.
Att. * 295.

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