2012 SEC Soccer Tournament * Orange Beach, Ala.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
SEC Tournament Championship * Recap
Top-Seeded Florida Wins 2012 SEC Soccer Tournament
By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (Nov. 4, 2012) – Top-seeded Florida out-shot sixth-seeded Auburn 18-9 Sunday and gained the momentum with two first-half goals en route to a 3-0 win in the Southeastern Conference Soccer Tournament Championship in front of 1,215 fans on a cloudy day at the Orange Beach SportsPlex.
For Florida (17-4-1), which won its 12th SEC regular-season title this season, it was the Gators league-leading 10th SEC Tournament Championship and their first since 2010.
“I am just really, really excited,” Florida head coach Becky Burleigh said. “It never gets old and for our players to be able to have the regular-season championship and the tournament championship, that means a lot.”
Florida’s Erika Tymrak was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after finishing the event with three goals in as many matches.
“It’s such an honor,” Tymrak said. “There are such great players and such good teams, the fact that they picked me for the MVP is incredible, but the credit has to go to my team because they set me up for a lot of the goals and they finished on a lot of the passes that I played, so the credit definitely goes out to my team.”
Junior forward Adriana Leon put Florida on the board in the 27th minute, going 1 v. 1 with Auburn goalkeeper Amy Howard before knocking in the goal to give her team a 1-0 advantage. In the 31st minute, Tymrack scored her eighth goal of the season from 20 yards out near the post to put Florida a 2-0 edge, a lead that it took into the locker room at intermission.
In the 70th minute, Tymrak found teammate Havana Solaun who turned the ball on a sharp angle and drilled it to the back of the next to make the final 3-0 margin.
“I think we’re getting closer and closer to playing our best soccer,” Burleigh said. “That’s important at this time of year for us.”
Auburn drops to 12-10-1 with the loss, making it to the championship match for the second consecutive year, after winning the tournament in 2011 for the first time in school history.
“Congratulations to Florida; they were the best team in our league all year long and they proved it again in this tournament,” Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa said. “They were phenomenal and they scored three great goals. I was really proud of my team. I thought we came out in the second half and we really went after them, and we put them under some pressure. We gave ourselves a chance, but unfortunately we didn’t get a goal. If we had punched one in when it was still 2-0, I think it’s a whole new game. I was proud of our effort. I thought we came out and fought in the second half and I’m really proud of the run we made in this tournament.”
Selections for the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship will be announced on Monday, Nov. 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET, and the selection show will be streamed live on NCAA.com. The field of 64 teams consists of 30 automatic qualifying sports and 34 at-large bids.
Hoppa believes that her team has put together a solid body of work and expects to be among the field of 64 when it is announced on Monday.
“I think the SEC is one of the best leagues in the country,” Hoppa said. “I think we deserve at least six teams in the NCAA Tournament. I think the results against Tennessee and Texas A&M are two quality results on two of the best teams in the country at the end of the year. I think we deserve to go, absolutely.”
For all of the latest information on SEC Soccer and the 2012 SEC Soccer Tournament, log on to www.SECDigitalNetwork.com.
2012 SEC Soccer All-Tournament Team
Most Valuable Player: Erika Tymrak, Florida
• Meghan Streight, Texas A&M
• Beth West, Texas A&M
• Haley Krentz, Missouri
• McKenzie Sauerwein, Missouri
• Tatiana Coleman, Auburn
• Amy Howard, Auburn
• March Nicholson, Auburn
• Jo Dragotta, Florida
• Holly King, Florida
• Erika Tymrak, Florida
• Christen Westphal, Florida