Alabama heads to the “Iron Bowl of Soccer”

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

The Alabama Crimson Tide women’s soccer team (9-8-1, 4-4-1) looks to finish its regular season on the right note with a home match against the No. 19 Auburn Tigers (11-4-1, 5-3-1). This matchup has been labeled over the years as the “Iron Bowl of Soccer.”

The Crimson Tide had a disappointing 4-0 loss to South Carolina on Sunday. 

Alabama is returning home to Tuscaloosa, where the team has won nine of its 11 home matches.

Auburn, like Alabama, has been a dominant team on their home field. The Tigers won eight of their 10 home games on the Plains this season. Auburn is 3-2-1 on the road.

The Tigers are led by Karen Hoppa, who has been head coach since 1999. Hoppa has led Auburn to 20 consecutive appearances in the SEC Tournament, which is the second-longest streak in the conference. The Tigers have won both an SEC regular season title and an SEC tournament.

Auburn has a star in forward Anna Haddock. The former All-SEC Freshman award winner now leads the Tigers with nine goals and seven assists. Haddock ranks fifth in the SEC with 25 points.

Defensively, the Tigers are stout. As a team, Auburn ranks third in the conference with only 15 goals allowed in its 16 games.

Tigers goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska leads the SEC with seven shutouts this season. 

Prohaska started her collegiate soccer career last year a semester early and quickly made an impact. She played in 18 matches and only allowed 14 goals as a 17-year-old.

Alabama and Auburn met twice last season. The Crimson Tide won in Auburn 1-0, and the Tigers won in Tuscaloosa 2-1.

“Auburn is incredibly stingy defensively,” head coach Wes Hart said. “They don’t give up much. They’ve got some dynamic players up top and a very good midfield. It’s going to be a difficult game for sure, but one that I’m confident our team will be up for.”

The regular season finale will take place at the Alabama Soccer Complex on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. CT. The match will also be broadcast on SEC Network Plus.