ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - With just over two minutes to play in the first overtime period, LSU striker Addie Eggleston buried the game-winning goal to lead the No. 6-seeded Tigers to a thrilling 1-0 victory over No. 3-seeded Tennessee in Thursday's first round and into the semifinal round at the SEC Women's Soccer Tournament for the fourth-straight season.
The Tigers (8-8-4, 4-4-3 SEC) will meet the No. 2-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday at 5 p.m. CT in the first of two semifinal matches. South Carolina advanced by winning a 3-2 penalty kick shootout over No. 7-seeded Kentucky in Wednesday's first-round action after playing to a 1-1 draw in regulation.
With LSU's first-round win, the Tigers extended their unbeaten streak against the Lady Volunteers (10-9-1, 7-3-1) to four-straight games and improved its SEC Tournament record to 4-1-3 since 2007.
"I thought we played really poorly in the first half, but we had some kids come off the bench and gave our team some good minutes to get us to halftime," said LSU head coach Brian Lee. "We were able to regroup and change some things tactically. It made a big difference for us in the second half, and we were able to persevere in the overtime with a good goal. Addie Eggleston took it very calmly."
With the teams locked in a scoreless tie in the waning minutes of the first overtime period, freshman Nina Anderson won a free kick for the Tigers following a Tennessee foul near midfield.
That's when junior defender Taryne Boudreau stepped over the ball with a stiff breeze at her back and put a beautiful free kick over the Tennessee defense into space near the top of the six-yard box. Eggleston found herself wide open in front of the net and fired the loose ball inside the left post at the 97:45 mark on a brilliant strike for her third goal of her rookie campaign.
Eggleston, a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2010, scored her first goal since a two-goal effort against South Alabama on Aug. 22 while taking over the team lead with 13 points on the season.
"It was a good ball by Taryne (Boudreau). She played a great ball into the box. I'm not sure how I got that wide open, but the ball just came down to my feet and I just placed it in," Eggleston said. "I got on the back post because my coach (Brian Lee) told me that I was going to get it on the back post. It was a pretty easy finish. It came down right to my feet and I just had to place it in the corner."
While Tennessee finished the match with a 19-8 advantage in total shots, each side was credited with four shots on goal in nearly 98 minutes of action. The Lady Volunteers also held a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.
Freshman goalkeeper Megan Kinneman led the defensive effort as the Tigers posted their ninth shutout of the season with Thursday's 1-0 win. Kinneman, also a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team, stopped a total of four Tennessee shots to earn her sixth clean sheet of the campaign.
Perhaps Kinneman's signature moment of the match came in the 83rd minute with the Lady Volunteers on the attack as she made a brilliant reaction save on a 12-yard strike by Tennessee striker Caroline Brown at the 82:45 mark. Brown received a centering pass in the area and fired a shot on frame, but Kinneman rose to the occasion with a leaping save that parried up and over the crossbar for a Tennessee corner kick.
Kinneman has proven to be a true Freshman All-America contender with her performance this year as she has recorded six clean sheets in 13 starts while lowering her goals against average to 0.65 this fall.
With its victory in the first round of the 2010 SEC Women's Soccer Tournament, LSU became the fourth-straight No. 6 seed to defeat a No. 3 seed in the opening round of the tournament, and the ninth No. 6 seed to advance to the SEC semifinal round in 12 years of the current postseason format.
"We've really developed some consistency in this tournament. I think it's a trademark of our program that our team gets better over the course of the season," Lee said. "We love Orange Beach. The people are just great to us and we always enjoy our experience here. We hope to see it continue all the way to Sunday."