Soccer Season Ends in NCAA First Round
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The LSU soccer team saw its 2011 season come to an end in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Tournament on Friday night as it suffered a 4-0 defeat to the No. 3-seeded Texas A&M Aggies in a match played before a packed house at Ellis Field.
The Tigers wrap up the campaign with a 13-8-1 overall record after finishing the regular season with their 8-3 mark and 24 points in Southeastern Conference play en route to a fourth SEC West championship and a second-place finish in the final SEC standings for the third time in four seasons.
The Tigers now fall to 0-1-1 in the series with the Aggies as they were also knocked out of the postseason on penalty kicks in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament at the Baton Rouge Regional.
With the victory, the Aggies (16-5-2) advance to the second round to battle either West Virginia (17-4) or Virginia Tech (12-7-1) in a potential match in Charlottesville, Va., on Friday, Nov. 18.
"We had a great chance to get on the board two minutes in that could have changed the game, but they did a great job of creating and finishing their chances tonight to get the win," said LSU head coach Brian Lee. "One of the things that we've really struggled with this season is defending set pieces, and they put it well out of our reach on two corner kicks late in the game. They certainly played very well tonight."
Senior striker Taryne Boudreau nearly netted the first goal of the game within two minutes of the opening kickoff as she found herself one-on-one with Texas A&M's freshman goalkeeper Jordan Day after the ball was played into space behind the Aggie back line by Tiger sophomore Addie Eggleston.
Boudreau took one touch of the ball and fired a wide-open strike from about 12 yards that was hit directly at Day holding her line to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard at the 1:40 mark.
The Aggies then took advantage of their second shot on goal of the match with the first goal of the contest in the ninth minute of play after freshman striker Kelley Monogue provided the finish to an end-line cross by senior forward Merritt Mathias on a flying attack down the right side of the pitch.
After the ball was played forward by a member of the Texas A&M back line, Matthias went on the attack as she raced to the end line and centered to an open Monogue in the middle of the penalty are. Monogue's one-timer from eight yards found the back of the net as the Aggies took a 1-0 lead at the 8:26 mark for the opening half on the 19th goal of the season by the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Monogue then threatened to push Texas A&M's lead to 2-0 in the 22nd minute of play with an open strike from just beyond the penalty spot, but LSU's sophomore goalkeeper Megan Kinneman sprinted off of her line and made a diving save to her left to deny Monogue her second goal of the match.
With the Tigers in search of an equalizer deep into the second half, the Aggies put the contest out of reach with a pair of corner-kick goals in a span of 1 minute, 43 seconds.
As junior midfielder Beth West served a cross into the middle of the penalty area from the left corner flag, freshman Meghan Streight went up and fired a header from eight yards into the back of the net to push the Texas A&M lead to 2-0 at the 72:27 mark. Junior defender Bri Young then buried a header from a similar spot on the field on a corner kick by West taken from the right corner flag at the 74:10 mark.
Freshman forward Annie Kunz provided the final margin for the Aggies in the 88th minute of play with an eight-yard strike after running free on a breakaway for her 14th goal of the season.
"They certainly have a great chance to make a run in this tournament if they continue to perform at a level that we saw tonight," Lee said. "That's certainly as good as anyone has played against us this season."
The defeat proved to be the end of an era for five Tiger seniors as Boudreau, Allysha Chapman, Mo Isom, Natalie Martineau and Kellie Murphy each made their final appearance in an LSU uniform in their NCAA Tournament finale against the No. 3-seeded Aggies on Friday night.
Theirs is just the second senior class in program history to record 50 wins in four seasons as they matched the team record for a graduating class with 50 victories since the 2008 season. They also helped the squad take home SEC West titles with runner-up finishes in the final SEC standings in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
"What else can you say about this senior class and the contribution they have made to this program during their time with us," Lee said. "I'm really proud of how each of these seniors has developed in their time in the program. They certainly should feel great about what they've achieved during their time at LSU. Each of us would have liked to make a deeper run in this tournament, but it's been a great season."