LSU Beats Alabama, 3-0
Oct. 3, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 17th-ranked LSU soccer team is now unbeaten in its last six SEC matches and is off to a 3-0 start in league play for just the second time in team history after earning a 3-0 shutout of the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday night at the Alabama Soccer Complex.
The Tigers (7-2-2, 3-0-0 SEC) also extended their winning streak to four games against the Crimson Tide (5-4-0, 1-1-0 SEC) as they have outscored their opponents by a 14-1 margin in the SEC this season.
LSU's current six-game unbeaten streak in SEC play matches a program record as they have not dropped a decision in league play since a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of No. 6 Florida on Oct. 26 of last season.
"Winning on the road in the SEC is always tough, and we're very pleased to come away with three points tonight," said LSU head coach Brian Lee. "It wasn't our best game by any means, but I thought we fought hard and competed for 90 minutes to get the win tonight. It's important for us to get back to work and get ready to play a very good Auburn team on Sunday afternoon."
Freshman striker Carlie Banks gave the Tigers an early 1-0 lead in the match by scoring her fourth goal of the season at the 10:35 mark of the first half.
Senior Melissa Clarke gained possession on an Alabama turnover near midfield and led the attack with an outstanding run through the Crimson Tide defense. After advancing the ball to the top of the penalty area, Clarke found a wide-open Banks streaking down the right flank as the freshman from Peachtree City, Ga., buried a shot into the back of the net from near the top of the six-yard box.
With LSU still holding a slim 1-0 advantage coming out of the halftime break, sophomore goalkeeper Mo Isom kept LSU in front with a brilliant diving save to her left on a wide-open shot by Crimson Tide junior striker Brook Rogers from 10 yards directly in front of the goal.
Isom saved five Crimson Tide shots on the night to earn her sixth clean sheet of the season and 13th of her collegiate career, which is just two shutouts shy of the all-time career record at LSU.
Clarke then gave the Tigers a comfortable 2-0 lead in the 70th minute of play on a shot from the top of the penalty area that was deflected by an Alabama defender into the bottom right corner of the net. It was her team leading sixth goal of the season and her first goal in league play.
Sophomore Taryne Boudreau then provided the final margin in the 3-0 win by converting a penalty in the 79th minute after senior All-American Malorie Rutledge picked up a foul in the box.
The Tigers outshot the Crimson Tide on the night by a 16-9 margin in total shots with an 8-5 advantage in shots on goal. LSU also attempted two corner kicks in the match to just one corner kick for Alabama.
"This was a big win for our team because wins on the road in the SEC are never easy. I feel like we did an outstanding job of competing for the full 90 minutes even if we did not play our best soccer tonight," Lee said. "It's three points in the end. We need to improve our performance if we hope to come away with the same result on Sunday. Auburn is a very good team and will be ready and prepared to play."
The Tigers return to the pitch on Sunday afternoon as they travel to Auburn, Ala., to take on the Auburn Tigers in a match scheduled for a 2:05 p.m. CT kickoff at the Auburn Soccer Complex. Sunday's match is scheduled for a live national broadcast on ESPNU.