Auburn squares off with No. 5 Arkansas in SEC Tournament semifinal

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – Coming off its first win against South Carolina in 10 seasons, Auburn (12-5-1) is set to take on No. 5 Arkansas (15-3-0) in the SEC Tournament semifinals Thursday.  
Kickoff at the Orange Beach Sportsplex is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
Auburn defeated South Carolina, 2-1, Tuesday to advance to the SEC Tournament
semifinals for the first time since 2016.
The win was the team’s first against South Carolina since 2012 and its second straight result against the Gamecocks in Orange Beach (advanced on PKs in 2015).
The Tigers are 15-22-5 all-time at the SEC Tournament, including 13-17-4 under head coach Karen Hoppa and 11-15-4 since the tournament moved to Orange Beach in 2003.
Junior forward Sydney Richards scored the game-winner in the 64th minute vs. South Carolina, marking her fifth goal in the last nine games and third game winner of the year.
Richards along with Anna Haddock (nine) and Marissa Arias (seven) have accounted for 23 of the team’s 36 goals this season (64 percent), including 15 of the last 18.
Senior defender M.E. Craven got the scoring started with a goal in the 41st minute, helping Auburn improve its record when leading or tied at half to 12-2-1.
Craven leads non-attacking players with career highs in goals (three) and points (nine).
Auburn is looking for its first win against Arkansas in the SEC Tournament and to advance to its first SEC Tournament final since 2012.
The Tigers have advanced to four championship games and won it all in 2011.
Sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska made five saves and held South Carolina scoreless in the run of play in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals Tuesday.
The West Chester, Ohio native made a diving save in the fourth minute and kept her effort going throughout the entirety of the contest.
Prohaska has accounted for 37 percent of her saves this season in the last four games.
Arkansas enters Thursday’s semifinal with a 15-3-0 overall record and has won 15 of its last 16 games.
The Razorbacks defeated LSU, 2-1, Tuesday to advance to its sixth straight SEC Tournament semifinal.
Offensively, Arkansas leads the SEC in nearly every category and is paced by Anna Podojil’s 32 points on 13 goals and six assists.
On the other end, Hannah Warner has started all 18 games in net and has had a hand in eight shutouts while turning in a 0.85 goals against average.  
Thursday’s second semifinal contest is between Tennessee and Ole Miss. The winner of the two games will meet in Sunday’s championship game scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.
All games are broadcast on SEC Network and will be played at the Orange Beach Sportsplex, which has been home to the SEC Soccer Tournament since 2003.
Tickets for the tournament are sold on site and are $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under.

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