Soccer Takes Streak into Regular Season Finale
BATON ROUGE - After claiming an SEC road sweep last weekend, the LSU Soccer team is set to wrap up the 2012 regular season on Thursday night when it plays host to the surging Arkansas Razorbacks with a match that is set to kick off at 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
The Tigers (8-7-4, 4-6-2 SEC) scored their first weekend road sweep in SEC play in three seasons with an impressive 3-2 come-from-behind overtime victory over Ole Miss in Oxford on Friday and a 3-1 defeat of 16th-ranked Missouri in Columbia on Sunday to position themselves for the SEC Tournament.
LSU's victory over Missouri in the inaugural meeting between the two programs marked its first win over a nationally-ranked opponent this fall as it climbed to ninth place on the league table.
The Razorbacks (9-8-1, 6-5-1) are riding a three-game winning streak and are winners of four of their last five SEC matches as they enter Thursday's match while climbing to sixth place on the SEC table in recent weeks. Arkansas is set to compete at the SEC Tournament for the first time since the 2000 season.
Fans are able to "Geaux Free!" to Thursday's game between the Tigers and Razorbacks as admission will be free as gates are set to open one hour prior to kickoff at 6 p.m. CT. Fans who are unable to attend the match are reminded that live streaming video of the contest is slated to begin at 6:55 p.m. for those having a subscription to the Geaux Zone by logging on to www.LSUsports.net/live.
Fans can also follow the action through LSU's social media networks as live updates and coverage for the match is available by liking LSU Soccer on Facebook and following @LSUSoccer on Twitter. In addition to that, fans are welcome to join the live in-game chat on the team's official Facebook page.
The Tigers play host to an Arkansas club that finds itself squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble with a No. 51 ranking in the NCAA's Ratings Percentage Index released on Monday.
The Razorbacks are led by a Second-Team All-SEC performer along their front line as senior striker Allie Chandler is tied for the team lead with four goals on the campaign. Freshman striker Ashleigh Ellenwood, who has also scored four goals on the season, is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring the team's two goals in a 2-1 win over 16th-ranked Missouri on Friday.
Sophomore Alex Arlitt highlights LSU's offensive stars from a weekend sweep as she was chosen among the CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performers of the Week for her performance.
Arlitt accounted for all three goals in the team's comeback victory over Ole Miss while scoring her squad leading fourth goal of the season in the 52nd minute, serving up her first assist of the season in the 59th minute and drawing the penalty for Megan Kinneman's game-winning spot kick in the 93rd minute.
Freshmen Colby Maffei and Fernanda Pina combined for LSU's game-winning goal in the 38th minute on Sunday at Missouri when Maffei buried a header from the top of the six-yard box on Pina's cross for what proved to be the winner in a 3-1 victory. Both Maffei and Pina have scored three goals on the year as they follow Arlitt on the team's scoring chart for the 2012 season.
Thursday is "Senior Night" at the LSU Soccer Stadium as four Tiger seniors will be honored in their final match in Baton Rouge. Among those being recognized in pregame introductions prior to kickoff include striker Carlie Banks, defender Natalie Ieyoub, midfielder Reyna Lubin and manager Abby Kemske.
Thursday is also "Fan Appreciation Night" as the first 500 fans will claim a free "Geaux Tigers!" sign and LSU Soccer temporary tattoo for their attendance during the match.
A win or a tie against the Razorbacks on Thursday night will secure a spot for the Tigers in the 2012 SEC Women's Soccer Tournament opening on Monday at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala. The championship match at this year's SEC Tournament will be held on Sunday, Nov. 4.