Soccer Earns No. 2 Seed in SEC Tournament, 3-0
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Tigers turned up the offensive pressure by scoring three goals in the second half by senior Taryne Boudreau, sophomore Addie Eggleston and redshirt freshman Kaley Blades as they took down Arkansas by a score of 3-0 on Friday night at Razorback Field to lock up the No. 2 seed in next week's SEC Women's Soccer Tournament.
Boudreau broke the stalemate on a penalty kick in the 51st minute, while Eggleston followed with her goal in the 67th minute and Blades provided the final margin in the 83rd minute to fuel the 3-0 victory.
The Tigers (13-6-1, 8-3 SEC) pushed their winning streak to eight-straight games over the Razorbacks (4-14, 2-9) dating back to the 2004 season and improved to 11-5-1 in the series in 16 meetings all-time. That includes a five-game winning streak in matches played at Razorback Field.
It also marks the third time in the last four seasons that the Tigers have earned a second-place finish in the final SEC standings as they also finished runner-up for the SEC Championship in 2008 and 2009.
"We're certainly pleased with the consistency of our program to finish in second place in the SEC in three of the last four seasons, and really give ourselves a chance to win a championship at the end of the year," said LSU head coach Brian Lee. "We're also excited to compete as part of the strongest field in history of the SEC Tournament. We think that all eight teams that will be competing in Orange Beach next week are in position to pick up an NCAA Tournament bid a week later."
After the sides played to a scoreless draw in the first half, Boudreau converted a penalty kick inside of six minutes from the restart that proved to be the game-winner at the 50:50 mark.
Junior striker Carlie Banks drew the penalty after she was taken down near the penalty spot for a free kick service into the box by Boudreau. That's when Boudreau stepped up to the spot and buried the club's first penalty kick of the 2011 season for the 1-0 advantage in the 51st minute of play.
Eggleston extended LSU's lead to 2-0 in the 67th minute of the second half when she found herself behind the Arkansas back line and buried a shot one-on-one with Arkansas goalkeeper Emily Lillard from the top of the six-yard box. Eggleston finished a flick behind the Razorback back line by Boudreau in the wake of an initial service into the penalty area from the left side by second-half substitute Danielle Murphy.
Blades then put the game well out of reach in the 83rd minute by scoring her third goal of the season when she buried a rebound from eight yards in front of the net. Eggleston's initial strike was saved by Lillard as Blades was in position to follow with an easy finish at the 82:58 mark.
The Tigers also turned in a stellar defensive effort while limiting the Razorbacks to three shots on goal for the match as senior goalkeeper Mo Isom made three saves while earning her eighth shutout of the year.
Isom also moves one step closer to tying the SEC record for career shutouts with her 30 clean sheets as an LSU Tiger. Auburn's Megan Rivera (2001-04) currently owns the SEC record with 33 shutouts.
"We talked a lot at halftime about being more clinical in the final third in giving ourselves a better chance to score goals," Lee said. "We talked about the importance of making the final pass and not settling for the shots we were taking in the first half. We did that very well in the second half. I thought we did a nice job of putting the game away and getting a big win for our team."
While scoring one goal and dishing out one assist on the night, Boudreau reach the 30-point mark this fall while moving into the No. 8 spot on LSU's all-time list for points scored in a single season.
Boudreau is making a strong case for All-SEC and All-America recognition as a senior while establishing career highs with 12 goals and 30 points on the campaign. She is now tied as the No. 1-ranked goal scorer and point scorer in SEC play while scoring nine goals and 22 points in 11 league fixtures. Boudreau's five game-winning goals in conference is also No. 1 among all SEC scorers.
The No. 2-seeded Tigers will return to action Wednesday at noon CT as they face No. 7-seeded Auburn in the first round of the 2011 SEC Women's Soccer Tournament. The single-elimination event returns to the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala., where it has been contested for each of the last six years since 2005. The Tigers have advanced to the semifinal round in each of the last four seasons.