The LSU women’s soccer team is eyeing a share of its first Southeastern Conference championship when it takes the pitch to close the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday at Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.
LSU (12-6-1, 7-3 SEC) needs a victory over Arkansas (4-13, 2-8), which has lost eight straight games, and a Florida win over visiting South Carolina on Friday to claim a share of its first SEC championship in the program’s 17-year history.
That would produce a three-way tie with South Carolina (8-2) and Florida, which is tied with LSU in second place.
LSU beat 11th-ranked Florida 1-0 for the first time in program history on Sunday, winning their fourth SEC Western Division title in five seasons in the process.
“One thing we’ve learned this season is that the SEC is one of the deepest conferences in the country with the quality of teams from top to bottom,” LSU head coach Brian Lee said. “We’ll face a very capable club again tomorrow night in Arkansas that poses quite the challenge to our team. They’re especially strong up front with their speed going forward, so organization will be a key for us in the game.”
LSU has won seven straight games against Arkansas.
LSU senior Taryne Boudreau, whose goal beat Florida on Sunday, is the SEC’s No. 2-ranked scorer with eight goals and 19 points in 10 conference matches. She is also tied for No. 2 with 11 goals and No. 4 with 27 points. That includes a career-high five game-winning goals, including four in SEC play.
Fellow senior Natalie Martineau, one of the league’s top attacking midfielders, has scored four goals and posted 10 assists to rank No. 2 in the SEC and tied for No. 10 in the NCAA.
In addition, senior goalkeeper Mo Isom continues her ascent on SEC record books after pitching her SEC-leading seventh shutout of the season at Florida.
Isom has now posted 29 shutouts in her collegiate career to tie for the No. 4 spot on the SEC’s career list with former Georgia goalkeeper Nicole Williams (1997-2000). She is four away from tying the career mark of 33 set by Auburn’s Megan Rivera from 2001-04.
After Friday night’s match, the Tigers will play in the SEC tournament beginning Wednesday at the Orange Beach (Ala.) Sportsplex. The seeds for the eight-team tournament will be determined following Friday. The Tigers will be seeded anywhere from No. 1 to No. 4 in the tournament.
LSU IN USF INVITATIONAL: In Tampa, Fla., seniors David Roberts and Tom Knights, junior Stefan Szacinski and sophomores John Michaelis, James Turbervill and Matt Zachary will compete for LSU in the USF Invitational this weekend, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. Florida A&M, USF and Troy are also in the event.
“This tournament is a great opportunity for all of our guys to prove themselves,” LSU coach Jeff Brown said. “This could be the last tournament of the fall for some of the guys, so they are definitely looking to finish strong.”