BATON ROUGE – Before 12th-ranked LSU and 20th-ranked TCU kick off the 2013 college football season at the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, the Tigers and Horned Frogs will renew their series on the soccer pitch on Friday night in a non-conference match that is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
This marks the third meeting all-time between the two teams on the soccer pitch, but the first fixture since the 1999 season as each team has scored a victory in an even series.
The Tigers (2-0) have scored shutouts in each of their first two matches to start the 2013 season with a 1-0 defeat of Louisiana Tech in their season opener on Aug. 23 and a 6-0 victory over UL-Monroe on Tuesday night in Baton Rouge. LSU is riding a four-game home winning streak entering Friday’s match at the LSU Soccer Stadium dating back to last season.
LSU boasts a No. 25 national ranking heading into their third Match Day of the season while holding onto its position for the second-straight week in this week’s release of the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25.
The Horned Frogs (1-1) have split their two opening matches of the season following a trip to the Montana Tournament in Missoula, Mont., last weekend. After dropping a 4-3 decision to Wyoming in a season-opening match on Aug. 23, TCU earned its first victory of the new campaign with a 2-1 defeat of Air Force on Sunday afternoon.
The Horned Frogs have opened their second season under head coach Eric Bell, who previously served as the associate head coach on Mark Krikorian’s staff at Florida State from 2006-11.
In Bell’s debut season in Fort Worth a year ago, TCU qualified for the Big 12 Conference Tournament as the No. 8 seed and advanced to the Big 12 Tournament Championship Game after knocking off the likes of league champion West Virginia and Texas in the first round and semifinals. That’s where they fell to Baylor in the title match while cementing their position among the elite teams in the Big 12 Conference.
“This will be a big step up in competition for our team against TCU tomorrow night. It really starts a run of six non-conference games against teams we think have a legitimate chance to make the NCAA Tournament this season,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “TCU has a really talented team this year in the second season with Eric Bell leading their program.
“Eric is a young head coach, but his coaching pedigree at this level is unquestioned. When you consider he’s been the top assistant under Mark Kirkorian at Florida State and Janet Rayfield at Illinois, he has had a chance to help build some of the premier programs in women’s soccer. It looks like he’s got TCU on that track with what they have done in the short time he’s been there. I’ve also known Ryan Higginbotham (assistant coach) for 20 years or so since he was a player at Furman, and he’s got one of the brightest soccer minds you’ll find anywhere in the country.”
The Tigers have featured a diverse attack in the early going this season with five different goal scorers netting their seven goals through two matches on the campaign.
Junior Alex Arlitt and sophomore Fernanda Pina each bagged a brace with a team-leading two goals in the 6-0 victory over UL-Monroe on Tuesday night, while junior Jodi Calloway, sophomore Lexi Gibbs and freshman Summer Clarke have each scored a goal apiece through two matches. Freshman Emma Fletcher currently leads the Southeastern Conference with three assists in her debut season in Baton Rouge.
Senior Megan Kinneman has raised her career total to 13 clean sheets after pitching shutouts in each of her first two starts on the campaign. She has been called on to make just three saves in LSU’s two victories.
Fans can “Geaux Free!” to each of LSU’s seven remaining home matches during the 2013 regular season as admission is free at the LSU Soccer Stadium, compliments of The Advocate.
Fans who are unable to attend the events can also watch the Tigers in action in the Geaux Zone as live streaming video will be available at www.lsusports.net/live. In addition, supporters can receive live updates of the match by following @LSUSoccer on Twitter or by joining the in-game commentary on LSU Soccer’s official Facebook page.
After playing host to the Horned Frogs on Friday night, the Tigers will wrap up their four-game homestand to open the 2013 season on Monday when they welcome the No. 6-ranked BYU Cougars to Baton Rouge in an exciting match that will kick off at 7:07 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. Monday’s contest is scheduled for a live television broadcast on Cox Sports Television.
The Tigers have enjoyed much success against BYU in recent seasons, including a 4-1 victory in Baton Rouge in 2008 and a 0-0 draw against the 10th-ranked Cougars in Provo, Utah, during the 2010 season. That gives LSU an unbeaten 1-0-1 mark in two meetings with the Cougars all-time.