AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Freshman midfielder Mallory Mooney scored the golden goal in double overtime to secure the win over Georgia 2-1 in the second round of the SEC Soccer Tournament.
Alyssa Malonson crossed it to Mooney for a one-time finish into the back of the net just 14 seconds into the second overtime. That was Mooney’s first goal of the career, sending Auburn to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016.
“All season we’ve been talking about making the far-post run, the near-post run,” Mooney said.
“I saw Alyssa running down the sideline. She dribbled right past the girl. I knew this was my chance to make the far-post run and I made it. Just an easy, tap-in goal for the win.”
At the top left corner of the 18-yard box, Hailey Whitaker passed to Malonson and beat the defender to make the cross on frame to Mooney. The senior had a career high with two assists in the contest.
“It feels amazing,” Malonson said. “We’ve been waiting for a moment like this the whole time we’ve been at Auburn, and I’m so excited to move on and be able to stay at the beach for another couple of days.”
“I’m really proud of the girls,” head coach Karen Hoppa added. “I thought we did a good job growing into the game. I thought we were better in the second half than we were in the first half. We obviously created a lot of opportunities and finally got one right at the beginning of the second overtime.”
The Lady Tigers struck early with Sydney Richards finding the back of the net early to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. However, Georgia in the 26th minute scored from the top of the box to tie up the game.
Auburn stayed aggressive throughout the game. The Tigers took 11 shots in the first half and totaled 19 in the game. Anna Haddock led the way with a season-high of six shots while Malonson and Richards followed with three shots each.
“We fought through the whole game,” Mooney said, “It was a hard match. Georgia is a really good team. We played them already once this season and got the win, and it’s always hard to beat the same team twice. We knew we had to come out and fight, put everything on the line.”
While the Tigers battled for the game-winner for the last 64 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of double overtime, Prohaska and the back line held Georgia scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“I thought all three back were outstanding,” Hoppa said. “They did a great job. Georgia is a very dangerous attack, and I thought our defenders were outstanding, Maddie Prohaska as well. Only giving up one in tournament time is really good, and I’m proud of our defensive effort tonight.”
The Lady Tigers will advance to face top seeded Arkansas (7-1-0) at 5 p.m. on SEC Network.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Hoppa said. “They’re the best team in the league and that’s what you play for in tournament, is to earn that opportunity to play the best.”