Soccer's Gomez-Junco Wins SEC Weekly Award
BATON ROUGE – An LSU Tiger has been honored as a Southeastern Conference Player of the Week for the second week in a row as senior midfielder Natalia Gomez-Junco was named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Week on Monday morning after leading the Tigers to a weekend sweep of Georgia and Marquette on their home field in Baton Rouge.
Gomez-Junco, who plays a defensive midfield role in LSU’s lineup, has been honored by the league office for the first time in her collegiate career just one week after sophomore teammate Jorian Baucom was chosen as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week as one of the nation’s leading goal scorers early in the season.
Gomez-Junco provided the spark that guided the Tigers to a 4-3 comeback victory over Georgia at the LSU Soccer Stadium on Thursday night as she scored the game-tying goal in the 69th minute and game-winning goal in the 79th minute for her first two goals of the 2015 season. It marked the team’s first SEC win of the season and first since the middle of the 2014 campaign last fall.
Gomez-Junco, who is LSU’s free kick and set piece specialist, lined up a 25-yard free kick with the Tigers trailing the Bulldogs, 3-2, in the 69th minute and curled a class strike past the Bulldog goalkeeper and into the back of the net to make it 3-3 with just over 20 minutes to play. Her free kick was also featured on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Plays segment as the No. 8 play of the day on Thursday’s night’s episode.
She then scored the game-winning goal on a 20-yard half volley from the top of the box in the 79th minute to give the Tigers a big 4-3 win over Georgia for their first conference win of the 2015 season.
Gomez-Junco then picked up her SEC-leading seventh assist in the season in Sunday’s 5-1 win over Marquette in the build up to Alex Arlitt‘s game-tying goal in the 18th minute of play en route to LSU’s largest margin of victory for the 2015 season. The five goals scored against Marquette is the most for the Tigers this season, while they also scored four goals in a pair of wins over Indiana and Western Kentucky in recent weeks.
With an unbeaten run of eight games at 6-0-2 in the non-conference and a 1-1 start in SEC play under their belts, the Tigers will return to conference play this weekend with a trip to Auburn on Friday night and Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon for a pair of matches that are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. CT on the SEC Network+.