No. 9 men’s golf kicks off season at Carpet Capital

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The ninth-ranked Auburn men’s golf team opens the 2011-12 season Friday against a stacked field at the 23rd annual Carpet Capital Collegiate in Dalton, Ga.

The Tigers face a field featuring 7 of 12 teams ranked in the top-20 nationally. Alabama and Georgia enter as the third- and fourth-ranked teams in the country, followed by No. 15 Georgia, No. 16 Clemson and No. 17 LSU.

Rounding out the team entries are Chattanooga, Kennesaw State, Middle Tennessee State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

Junior Blayne Barber will miss this year’s Carpet Capital as the 2010-11 All-American will represent the United States this weekend at the 2011 Walker Cup at The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland.

Tournament central for the Carpet Capital Collegiate can be accessed via http://www.TheFarmGolfClub.org. Live scoring will be available at http://www.GolfStat.com.

No. 15/18 women’s golf returns veteran lineup
The defending Southeastern Conference champion Auburn women’s golf team returns four of its top five players and six members of last season’s team that won the league title.

With that returning experience, along with three newcomers, Auburn begins the season ranked 15th in the nation by Golfweek and 18th in the NGCA/Golf World poll.

Head coach Kim Evans begins her 18th season as the head coach for the women’s golf squad, and looks to lead her team to another successful season after leading her squad secure two SEC Championships in the last three years.

The Tigers return four of their top five players from last season in Patricia Sanz, Haley Wilson, Marta Sanz and Carlie Yadloczky.

Auburn welcomes three freshmen to the team this season in Lakin Eddy, Nicole Quinn and Victoria Trapani. Eddy is an in-state product from Hoover, while Quinn (Windermere) and Trapani (Hollywood) come to Auburn by way of Florida.

The Tigers regular season will include tournaments hosted by Texas A&M, North Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina-Wilmington, Central Florida, Tulane, Florida and Georgia.

Postseason play is scheduled to begin April 20-22 at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark., for the SEC Championship hosted by Arkansas. Next will be the NCAA Regional Championships, May 3-5, before the NCAA Championship, May 15-18, at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.

Cross Country hosts Auburn Invitational on Friday
Auburn cross country will host its lone home meet of the season Friday at Conway Acres Farm.

Both the men’s and women’s teams had a successful first weekend, picking up team wins at the Troy Invitational, as well as an overall win in the women’s race by Elizabeth Briasco.

The men’s team will add a pair of highly-touted international runners for the home meet – Niklas Buhner (Germany) and Kane Grimster (Australia) will see their first cross country action for Auburn.

The Tigers will contend with several talented teams, as Florida State, Kennesaw State, Georgia State and Southern Miss are scheduled to be among the competing squads. Additionally, in-state opponents Samford, Troy, UAB and Alabama State will compete.

The women’s race is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m., and the men will follow at 5:45. Conway Acres Farm is located at 2038 Lee Co. Road 137 in Auburn.

No. 23 soccer takes four-match winning streak to Samford
Riding a four match winning streak and three straight shutouts, the No. 23 Auburn soccer team (4-1-0) will try to extend both in its first road match of the season on Friday at Samford (2-3-0) at 7 p.m.

Ranked in the top 25 for the first time since Sept. 25, 2010, Auburn has posted back-to-back 1-0 shutouts following a 4-0 shutout to attain its highest ranking by Soccer America since being No. 13 on Sept. 18, 2006.

Goalkeeper Chandler Hillen, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, has posted a 0.25 goals against average and a .933 save percentage during the winning streak.

Bianca Sierra’s game-winning header in the 62nd minute of the Tigers’ 1-0 upset of then-No. 5 Duke has landed the sophomore defender on the Soccer America Team of the Week as well as on the Our Game Magazine’s Players to Watch list She is one of 11 on the Soccer America list and one of 10 on the Our Game Magazine list.

Auburn is 6-0-1 all-time against Samford and 2-0-1 against the Bulldogs in Birmingham. In the seven-match series, Auburn has allowed just one goal, which came in 2006, while scoring 15.

Friday’s match is the first of three straight away from home for Auburn, which travels to Denver, Colo., next weekend to face Colorado and Denver.

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