Soccer Loses Heartbreaker to Vanderbilt, 1-0

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Soccer Loses Heartbreaker to Vanderbilt, 1-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The LSU soccer team fell to the Vanderbilt Commodores 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at the Vanderbilt Soccer Stadium to complete their opening weekend in Southeastern Conference play.

LSU (7-3-1) is now 0-2 in the SEC after dropping a 2-0 decision to Kentucky on Friday in Lexington, Ky. This marks the first time that the Tigers have started 0-2 in the conference since 1997. The Tigers are now 1-5-1 all-time against Vanderbilt, who improved to 5-4-1 overall and 1-2 in the SEC.

“We just were not able to put the ball in the net today and Vanderbilt obviously was a little bit better,” said LSU head coach George Fotopoulos. “It was a tough match against a good team and we just were not able to do what we needed to do to get a victory.”

The Tigers dodged an early scoring chance by the Commodores as forward Laura Hershenow hit the crossbar just minutes into the contest on a wide-open attempt, but Tiger defender Tara Mitnick took control of the ball and kicked it out wide of the goal.

LSU had a great chance to take the lead in the 35th minute on a free kick by freshman Stacy Bishop, but Commodore goalkeeper Esther Thompson saved her attempt. Junior Artie Brown had a scoring chance on a breakaway roughly 10 minutes later but Thompson once again recorded a save.

The match remained scoreless at halftime, as neither team was able to capitalize on what actually were very few scoring chances. Vanderbilt out-shot the Tigers 8-3 and each team took two corner kicks in the first period.

Vanderbilt took a 1-0 lead at the 51:57 mark in the second half as Hershenow, who took two shots on goal in the first half, took a pass from Monica Buff and knocked the ball into the net from 20 yards out.

Brown’s attempted a header just a few yards in front of the goal which could have tied the game, but Thompson made a sliding save to keep the Commodores in the lead with under 23 minutes left in the match.

The Commodores out-shot the Tigers 20-11 and held a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal. Vanderbilt finished with eight corner kicks and the Tigers, who took just one in the second half, totaled three for the game.

The Tigers will return home next weekend to play host to Ole Miss and Mississippi State at the LSU Soccer Complex. Those matches will be the first SEC matches at home this season where the Tigers are a perfect 5-0.

Box Score
Vanderbilt (5-4-1, 1-2 SEC) def. LSU (7-3-1, 0-2 SEC), 1-0
Scoring: Vanderbilt, Laura Hershenow (4), assist: Monica Buff (51:57)
Shots: Vanderbilt 20, LSU 11
Corners: Vanderbilt 8, LSU 3
Yellow cards: Mitnick (LSU), McAleavy (Vanderbilt)