The Tigers could climb as high as No. 8 in the SEC table with a win over Arkansas on Thursday!
Steve Franz

Soccer Hosts Arkansas in SEC Clash

Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Associate SID

Three vital points in the race for Southeastern Conference Tournament qualification will be on the line Thursday night when the LSU Tigers return home to host the Arkansas Razorbacks in a match kicking off at 6 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. The match will stream live on the SEC Network+.

The Tigers (8-3-2, 1-3-2 SEC) are unbeaten in their last two home matches in SEC play with a 2-2 draw with Mississippi State on Sept. 24 and 2-1 win over Georgia on Oct. 5 in recent weeks. The Razorbacks (7-7-1, 2-3-1) arrive in Baton Rouge following a 2-0 home defeat to No. 3-ranked South Carolina in Fayetteville on Sunday afternoon.

LSU hosts Arkansas in its annual “Gold Match” as fans are encouraged to wear gold to show their support for the Tigers. Fans can also pick up a free gold LSU Soccer scarf when the gates open at 5 p.m. CT.

Students are also encouraged to support their side on Thursday night as the match will be Student Point Night and Tiger Nights at the LSU Soccer Stadium. The LSU Marketing & Promotions Department has organized a special tailgate for students before kickoff as well as a halftime competition for students to win a pair of Beats By Dre headphones.

Fans can also follow all the action from each match during the 2017 season by following @LSUSoccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lsusoccer and Instagram at http://instagram.com/lsusoccer and by liking LSU Soccer on Facebook at http://facebook.com/lsusoccer.

LSU enters Thursday’s match with a 14-6-2 advantage in its series with Arkansas, including a 12-game unbeaten run from 2004-15. The Razorbacks were 2-0 winners in Baton Rouge on Oct. 27 of last season, while LSU is 7-2-2 in 11 meetings between the two teams at the LSU Soccer Stadium.

Freshman forward Parker Goins is one of the SEC’s leading scorers in her rookie season as she leads the Razorback attack with seven goals and four assists in her 14 appearances this season. She has nearly doubled the output of four goals each by senior Katie Kienstra, sophomore Stefani Doyle and freshman Taylor Malham to this point of the season.

LSU junior Alex Thomas continued her breakout season as one of the SEC’s top striker at Ole Miss on Sunday when she netted her team-leading eighth goal of the season in the 67th minute of play.

Thomas has now quadrupled her previous season-high for goals scored when she kicked off her collegiate career with two goals as a freshman in 2015 while helping the Tigers reach the NCAA Tournament. She has the Tigers on path for NCAA Tournament qualification once again with eight goals on the season and four goals in six SEC starts, both ranking among the Top 5 on the SEC’s goal-scoring charts for the 2017 campaign.

LSU’s NCAA Tournament resume is bolstered by a 1-0 win over Cincinnati, ranked No. 19 in the NCAA’s latest Ratings Percentage Index, and draws with RPI No. 21 Alabama and No. 49 Mississippi State. The Tigers boast a No. 27 national ranking in this week’s RPI release.

After playing host to Arkansas on Thursday night, the Tigers welcome No. 8-ranked Central Florida to Baton Rouge on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT as the two teams finally meet five weeks after their original match day. LSU was set to face the Golden Knights in Orlando on Sept. 8 before the match was postponed due to Hurricane Irma making landfall in South Florida.

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