Soccer Wraps Up Regular Season at Mizzou
BATON ROUGE – Members of the LSU Soccer program will have their focus on postseason qualification when they make the trip to Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night as they wrap up the 2017 regular season with their match against the Missouri Tigers scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network+.
LSU (8-6-3, 1-5-3 SEC) is among four teams playing for one spot in the SEC Tournament next week as Missouri, Kentucky and Mississippi State all have their sights set on a trip to Orange Beach, Alabama, for the tourney returning to the Orange Beach Sportsplex from Oct. 30-Nov. 5.
Mississippi State would seal an SEC Tournament berth with a win at Texas A&M, but a Bulldogs loss will leave each of the remaining three teams with an opportunity to qualify. The winner of LSU’s match at Missouri (6-11-1, 2-7) on Thursday will stay alive as would Kentucky with a win at Georgia, pending the final scorelines of those matches.
The match will stream live on the SEC Network+ as fans can watch the Tigers in action at ESPN3.com and through the WatchESPN app available on all smartphone and tablet devices. Fans can also receive live updates at Audrey J. Walton Stadium by following @LSUSoccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lsusoccer and Instagram at http://instagram.com/lsusoccer and liking LSU Soccer on Facebook at http://facebook.com/lsusoccer.
LSU has enjoyed its share of success against Missouri since its Tiger counterpart joined the Southeastern Conference in 2012 while posting a 4-1 mark in five matches played between the sides in that time.
The Tigers have split their two meetings at Audrey J. Walton Stadium in Columbia while finishing on either side of a pair of 3-1 scorelines, winning their inaugural match in 2012 before suffering their only defeat in 2014. LSU is also perfect on its home field with two wins from two matches, while also winning the only SEC Tournament clash between the sides two seasons ago.
2016 SEC Freshman of the Year and Second-Team All-SEC striker Sarah Luebbert leads the line again for Missouri in her sophomore season as she has bagged a team-leading six goals and five assists on the campaign as one of the top scorers in the SEC in 2017. Three other players – Jessica Johnson, Madison Lewis and Tess Rellihan – have scored five goals apiece as the quartet has accounted for 21 of their team’s 27 goals this fall.
The Tigers also head to Columbia with eyes on solidifying their NCAA Tournament qualification while checking in at No. 42 in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index this week with only Thursday’s match to play.
They have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the previous five seasons in which they finished the campaign with a top-50 ranking in the RPI with final rankings ranging from No. 13 to No. 44, including ending the 2015 season at No. 40 to earn an at-large berth just two seasons ago.
History would suggest the Tigers are well on their way to the NCAA Tournament again with a win at Missouri on Thursday night as they not only carry a No. 42 ranking in the NCAA’s RPI, but they also own four results in the Top 50 with a win over Cincinnati and draws against Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State to bolster their resume.