Alex Thomas (pictured) led the Tigers with five shots and two shots on target on the night.
Ryan McCarble

Soccer Earns Crucial Point With Draw at Auburn

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

AUBURN, Ala. – The LSU Soccer team earned a crucial point on its travels in the Southeastern Conference at the Auburn Soccer Complex on Sunday night with a 0-0 draw against the red-hot Auburn Tigers to remain alive in its bid for an SEC Tournament berth heading into the final match day of the regular season.

The Tigers (8-6-3, 1-5-3 SEC) snapped an eight-game losing skid in their series with Auburn (7-4-5, 4-1-4) while remaining one of four teams with a shot to earn the final spot in the SEC Tournament field that will head to Orange Beach, Alabama, next week for the event running Oct. 30-Nov. 5 at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.

Thursday marks the final match day of the SEC season with LSU, Missouri, Kentucky and Mississippi State all set to battle it out for the final spot in the first round of the tournament to be held Monday, Oct. 30.

“We needed at least a point from tonight to stay alive (for SEC Tournament qualification) and we got it. A lot is now riding on how Thursday plays out for a number of teams in our league,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee following the match. “We’ve played our best this season over these last few matches to get us back in a position where we can qualify for Orange Beach.

“We’re excited as well for the opportunity to continue our season beyond the SEC Tournament with the NCAA (Tournament) resume we’ve put together to this point. Having three results against the RPI Top 40 with a Top 40 ranking of our own going into next week gives us a great chance at an at-large selection.”

LSU’s junior goalkeeper Caroline Brockmeier was called into action early on as she denied All-SEC striker Kristen Dodson the opener for Auburn just two minutes after the opening kick with a brilliant reaction save from the breakaway as Dodson got her final  touch just outside the six-yard box.

Junior Alex Thomas sparked the Tigers into life as the first half wore with three opportunities to break through for the visitors before the break while recording three of their four attempts in the frame.

Thomas first forced a save from Auburn goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau in the 13th minute after being played brilliantly through the defense by freshman Lucy Parker with a perfectly weighted ball into space on the left side. After rounding her defender and firing on frame in the 25th minute with an open look, Thomas nearly wrote her name on the scoresheet again on 35 minutes when freshman Tinaya Alexander spotted her diagonal run and played her teammate through for a toe poke wide right of the post from eight yards.

The Tigers held their nerve in the second half to force extra time as Auburn came closest to finding the breakthrough in the 83rd minute when Ellie Leek’s initial shot from 10 yards was blocked by LSU’s freshman Chiara Ritchie-Williams and Jaelyn Gadson’s rebound was fired off the crossbar before being cleared out of danger by the Tiger defense.

Brockmeier made six saves on the night with three on either side of halftime to pick up her seventh clean sheet of the fall, matching her total from a year ago and moving her into the No. 5 spot on LSU’s all-time career list with her 14th shutout as a Tiger.

The 2017 regular season comes to an end on Thursday night as LSU travels to Columbia, Missouri, with SEC Tournament qualification on the line as they face the Missouri Tigers at 6:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network+.

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