After jumping out to an early 2-0 lead with goals by Carlie Banks in the ninth minute and Taryne Boudreau in the 17th minute, the LSU soccer team held on for a 2-1 win over Georgia on Sunday at the LSU Soccer Stadium to extend its unbeaten streak to nine matches and take over sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference standings.
The Tigers (9-3-1, 4-0 SEC) are the only team in the Southeastern Conference to secure all 12 points from the first four games of league play while climbing to the top of the standings following Auburn’s 2-0 loss on Sunday at Mississippi State for its first SEC defeat of the season.
Auburn fell into a tie for second place with Florida as each team has secured nine points in the first four SEC matches. Five other teams trail LSU in a tie for fourth place with six points.
Sunday’s win over Georgia (8-4, 2-2) gave the Tigers their sixth straight win this season and extended their unbeaten streak to nine straight games. LSU has an 8-0-1 mark over that span since a 2-1 road win at Houston on Sept. 6.
The win also extended LSU’s unbeaten streak to seven straight games against SEC opponents dating to a 1-0 win in the 2010 regular season finale. That matches a program record as the Tigers are 6-0-1 in their last seven outings against conference opponents during that span.
“We were great to start the match today. We were flowing early and really put the pressure on Georgia for the effort that we showed,” LSU coach Brian Lee said in a university release. “The momentum turned in their favor when they got the goal to make it 2-1. I thought we showed championship character to come away from this one with a win. It’s always a great weekend to get six points from Georgia and Tennessee.”
Nicole Locandro scored Georgia’s goal at the 22:22 mark.
KENTUCKY SWEEPS TIGERS: Kentucky used a .385 team hitting percentage to take a 3-0 sweep — 26-24, 25-16, 25-17 — over the LSU volleyball team Sunday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Wildcats (14-3, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) defeated LSU (10-5, 3-2) for the seventh time in the past eight series meetings.
Desiree Elliott and Michele Williams each had 12 kills for LSU, with Elliott reaching double digits for the 11th straight match. Madie Jones had eight kills, ending her run of double digts kills at seven matches.
Defensively, Meghan Mannari and Malorie Pardo each had eight digs.
“You have to credit Kentucky: they controlled every aspect of the match,” LSU coach Fran Flory said. “We didn’t respond very well. They came at us very hard, and we didn’t have an answer. Our defense and our ball control has really led us and created opportunities. For the first time all year, that failed us. … But on the other side, Kentucky was very physical, and we didn’t answer the call.”
Kentucky’s Christine Hartmann had 41 assists and six kills. Lauren O’Conner had 13 kills on a career-best .545 hitting percentage.
TIGER DUO DOMINATES TO WIN DOUBLES TITLE AT RICE INVITATIONAL: In Houston, the LSU tennis duo of Roger Anderson and Stefan Szacinski cruised to a win Sunday to clinch the flight A doubles final at the Rice Invitational.
Anderson and Szacinski handed Arkansas’ Greg Lehmann and Mike Ward a quick 8-1 loss to earn the flight A doubles championship.
In singles, the Tigers finished got victories from David Roberts, Stefan Szacinski and Matt Zachary.
James Turbervill did not compete Sunday because of an injury.
TWO TIGERS SET FOR ITA ALL-AMERICAN: Senior Neal Skupski and junior Olivier Borsos of the LSU men’s tennis team will travel to Tulsa, Okla. to compete in the 2011 ITA Men’s All-American Championships hosted by the University of Tulsa.
Borsos will open play for the Tigers at 8 a.m. Monday in the singles qualifying round against University of New Mexico’s Jadon Phillips on court 3.
Skupski, ranked No. 31 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, has already qualified for the singles main draw and will begin play Thursday.
In addition to competing in singles play, Borsos and Skupski will make their debut on the court together Tuesday in the first qualifying round of doubles.