Soccer Team Takes a Break from SEC Play Against ULL

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Soccer Team Takes a Break from SEC Play Against ULL

BATON ROUGE — The LSU soccer team will look to remain undefeated versus in-state opponents for a third consecutive season on Friday as the Tigers host the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at 7 p.m. at the LSU Soccer Complex.

“This game has a lot of possible ramifications,” said LSU head coach George Fotopoulos. “ULL has a very talented team and I’d have to say that if we have a rivalry within our state in soccer, that it would be between LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette. We’re excited and we expect a great crowd out there for the game. I just hope that we can come out ready to play.”

LSU heads into Friday’s non-conference finale with an overall record of 10-4-2 on the season and an 8-1 mark against opponents not affiliated with the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers’ lone non-conference loss of the 2002 season came against 23rd-ranked Miami on Sept. 6. In the opening matchup of the Seminole Invitational, Miami defeated LSU, 1-0, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Louisiana-Lafayette will travel to Baton Rouge on Friday with an overall record of 6-7-3 on the season and with a two game winning streak. Last weekend, the Ragin’ Cajuns notched crucial Sun Belt Conference victories over both Western Kentucky, 2-1, and Middle Tennessee State, 3-1. The vital conference wins upped Louisiana-Lafayette’s road record to 4-4-2 on the season.

“Right now, the only thing that we’re worried about is ULL,” Fotopoulos said. “They’re coming off of a huge conference weekend, in which they won two games, and they are very well coached. They are an extremely good defensive team, they have a very potent goal scorer and they are catching us at a very good time. We just need to be focused on Friday’s game and nothing else.”

The Tigers own a 23-6-1 all-time record against in-state opponents and have a 14 game undefeated streak against Louisiana schools. LSU has not been defeated by an in-state rival since a 3-0 loss against Tulane in 1999.

LSU also possesses an eight match winning streak at the LSU Soccer Complex against Louisiana rivals. The Tigers have not been defeated by an in-state opponent at home since 1997 versus McNeese State, 2-1.

“ULL has nothing to lose coming in here and playing us,” said Fotopoulos. “They’ve already qualified for their conference tournament and the only thing that this could do for them is just boost their program. For us, it’s definitely a game that we have to take seriously and we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game. This game is also important for us in trying to get an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.”

The Tigers own a 2-0 record in the all-time series against Louisiana-Lafayette. LSU defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns, 4-0, in 2000 and earned a 3-0 win last season. Friday’s rivalry will be the second straight matchup played in Baton Rouge.

The LSU soccer team will host its fourth consecutive contest at the LSU Soccer Complex on Friday as the Tigers face off against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at 7 p.m.