Soccer Drops Regular-Season Finale at Mizzou
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The LSU Soccer team closed out its 2017 regular season in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night with a 2-0 defeat to the Missouri Tigers as Kaitlyn Clark and Savannah Trujillo found the scoresheet for the hosts on either side of halftime on their Senior Night at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.
With a No. 42 ranking in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index entering the week, LSU (8-7-3, 1-6-3 SEC) now looks toward the NCAA Tournament Selection Show in 11 days in hopes of seeing its season extend into the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history and second time in three seasons.
The Tigers also saw their two-match winning streak in the series snapped while falling to 4-2 against Missouri (7-11-1, 3-7) in their six meetings since the Tigers from Columbia joined the SEC in 2012.
Junior Alex Thomas nearly struck first for the Tigers barely six minutes from the opening kick when her one-time strike found the target after senior Nicole Howard stole possession off a Missouri corner kick and broke the other way for a lay off to her teammate sprinting into the box.
All-SEC midfielder Kaitlyn Clark put the hosts on the board minutes later from the penalty spot after forward Sarah Luebbert was taken down on the dribble in the left side of the box. Clark finished inside the right post past the diving Caroline Brockmeier in goal for the Tigers for her second goal of the season in the 13th minute.
LSU nearly found an immediate response through Howard with a shot from distance that sailed just over the bar in the 14th minute and freshman Tinaya Alexander again in the 15th minute when she took possession on the right side and skipped across the box for a left-footed strike that forced a reaction save from Missouri goalkeeper Kelsey Dossey.
Brockmeier kept the Tigers in the match after the restart when she dove quickly to her right to deny Missouri’s All-SEC striker Sarah Luebbert at her near post in the 56th minute of play.
Missouri would double its advantage three minutes later in the 59th minute when Trujillo’s deflected effort from 14 yards looped over Brockmeier’s outstretched arm and into the net for a 2-0 lead. Trujillo’s second for the season proved an unlucky turn of events for the Tigers as they were unable to cut into the Missouri lead down the stretch.
They were not without their chances in the final half hour as Thomas forced Dossey into a leaping save from the top of the box for an LSU corner kick in the 64th minute. Freshman Lucy Parker later held the ball up from the initial entry pass, turned and fired on target in the 81st minute as Dossey made a nearly identical save as Thomas’ effort minutes earlier. Freshman midfielder Tiana Caffey also fired a rocket on frame from the edge of the area on the layoff from Thomas following the ensuing LSU corner kick.
Thomas led the attack with five total attempts and four shots on goal on the night, while Parker and Alexander attempted three shots apiece. Brockmeier made seven saves in her 90 minutes in goal for the Tigers.