Soccer Extends Streak, Beats Miami, 4-1
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The LSU soccer team capped a successful weekend Saturday night by extending its unbeaten streak to six games with a dominating 4-1 win over Miami in the 2007 Long’s Electronics Samford Classic at Bulldog Field.
The Tigers (4-0-0) even the all-time series with the Hurricanes (2-1-1) at 1-1 and are riding their longest unbeaten streak since the 2005 season when they were also unbeaten in a six-game span.
“It was a great weekend for our team with 180 minutes of max effort,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “The rhythm of play was great offensively and we were much improved defensively from last week. We have a lot of respect for both Memphis and Miami, and we believe they’ll be in the hunt for an NCAA bid come November.”
Sophomore Rachel Yepez put the Tigers on top right out of the gate with her fourth goal of the season at the 4:53 mark by rifling a shot inside the far post from the left side of the penalty area.
The play was set up with a great combination from freshman Taryne Boudreau to sophomore Lindsay Lum near the top of the box with Lum playing it through to Yepez for the finish. For her effort, Yepez was named the Offensive MVP of the tournament with four goals on the weekend.
Sophomore standout Melissa Clarke pushed the LSU advantage to 2-1 at the 12:52 mark with her third goal of the season on a brilliant strike inside the far post from the top of the penalty area. Sophomore Malorie Rutledge was credited with her fourth assist of the weekend on the play.
Hurricane midfielder Lauren Singer cut the lead in half before the break with her fourth goal of the young season in the 38th minute of play on a strike from 25 yards out on the left side that caromed off the far post and into the back of the net.
“It was big for us to get a quick score right out of the gate and control the momentum from the beginning,” Lee said. “We did a great job of keeping pressure on the Miami defense with several quality chances early on and added a second goal just a few minutes later. It was also important for us to continue that coming out in the second half.”
Boudreau added to the Tiger lead with her first career goal just four minutes into the second half as she bent a free kick around Miami’s wall and past a diving keeper at the 49:01 mark.
Junior all-conference standout Roslyn Jones put the game away in the 73rd minute with her third goal of the season as she punched in a header from inside the six-yard box off of a rebounded shot by Veronica Godbolt. Boudreau was also credited with an assist as she played the ball into the penalty area on a corner kick.
The Tigers controlled play on the offensive end of the field yet again as they finished the match with 16 total shots, including eight shots on goal, and seven corner kicks. The Hurricanes had 14 shots for the match with just three shots on goal and two corner kicks.
For their effort, Rutledge, Boudreau and Jones were each named to the Samford Classic All-Tournament in addition to Yepez. Rutledge combined for one goal and four assists in two games, while Jones scored two goals and two assists with Boudreau adding one goal and three assists.
“This was a big step in the right direction for our club, but we’re still a work in progress,” Lee said. “There are a number of things we need to clean up if we hope to challenge the top teams in our league once SEC play starts. But this was a big weekend for our postseason hopes.”
The Tigers return to the pitch on Friday as they take on McNeese State in a match scheduled for 7 p.m. at the LSU Soccer Complex. Fans are encouraged to wear white in an effort to “White Out” the Cowgirls, and the first 250 fans wearing white will receive a free LSU visor. An overflow crowd is expected as it is also the first Student Point Game of the 2007 season.