Soccer Travels to Face No. 20 Central Florida
BATON ROUGE – Two of the hottest teams in college soccer to start the season will square off at the UCF Soccer Complex in Orlando on Friday afternoon as the unbeaten LSU Tigers put their five-game winning streak on the line against No. 20-ranked Central Florida in a match that is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. CT.
This marks LSU’s first match against a nationally-ranked opponent this season as the Golden Knights are ranked as high as No. 20 nationally in the latest United Soccer Coaches Top 25 poll released Tuesday.
Central Florida will provide live streaming video of Friday’s match through its own premium service at http://ucfknights.tv with one-day passes available for LSU fans to purchase for $5.99.
Fans can also receive live updates when the Tigers and Knights kick off Friday by following @LSUSoccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lsusoccer and Instagram at http://instagram.com/lsusoccer and by liking the LSU Soccer page on Facebook at http://facebook.com/lsusoccer. Central Florida will also provide live stats at http://www.ucfknights.com.
The hosts enter the weekend riding a four-game winning streak of their own after dropping their season opener at top-five-ranked South Carolina three weeks ago. That includes an impressive 2-1 home win over No. 4-ranked North Carolina at the UCF Soccer Complex on Aug. 25 before completing a road sweep with 2-1 wins at Arizona last Friday and Arizona State on Sunday.
Senior Morgan Ferrara and freshman Dina Orschmann lead the line for the Knights with a team-best two goals apiece through their first five matches of the season. Ferrara has bookended the team’s four-game streak with game-winning goals against both Stetson and Arizona State. Four other players have scored one goal on the season.
The Tigers are in search of their first win over a nationally-ranked opponent in nearly two years when they last scored a 1-0 home win over No. 15-ranked and eventual NCAA runner-up Duke on Sept. 15, 2015.
LSU continued its best start to a season in nine years on Sunday night when it erased a 1-0 halftime deficit with three goals in a 12-minute span in the second half to emerge as 3-1 winners over Austin Peay. Senior Zoe Higgins leveled on the hour to spark the comeback as senior Nicole Howard put the Tigers in front on 68 minutes and junior Alex Thomas put the match out of reach in the 72nd minute.
With five wins from five matches, LSU remains one of just 15 teams nationally with a perfect record heading into this weekend’s action. The Tigers are closing in on their program record 7-0 start from the 2008 season.
Higgins’ equalizer was her team-leading and career-high fourth goal of the season, while Thomas equaled freshman Tinaya Alexander with her third goal of the campaign. Howard and freshman Dana Reed have netted two goals apiece. Alexander has provided an assist in five-straight matches and is tied for third in the NCAA this season with five assists entering the weekend.
After facing No. 20-ranked Central Florida in Orlando on Friday afternoon, the Tigers return to Baton Rouge on Sunday as they open up a three-game homestand against 2016 Big South Conference Champion Liberty in a match that is slated to kick at 6 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. They will then host Cincinnati in their non-conference finale next Thursday at 6 p.m. CT before welcoming Vanderbilt to Baton Rouge on Sept. 17 at 4 p.m. CT for their Southeastern Conference opener.