BATON ROUGE – As the sun sets on the eve of the University’s 2014-15 athletic season, members of the LSU Soccer team have put the final touches on their preseason training and are preparing to play host to the Troy Trojans in their 2014 season opener on Friday night with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
Fans can “Geaux Free!” to each of LSU’s 11 home matches during the 2014 regular season as admission is free at the LSU Soccer Stadium, compliments of The Advocate.
Fans who are unable to attend the match are invited to follow the action through social media as they can receive live updates from the ground by following @LSUSoccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lsusoccer and by liking LSU Soccer’s official Facebook page at http://facebook.com/lsusoccer. They are also invited to join in the team’s live in-game chat on Facebook during each match during the 2014 season.
The Tigers have won each of their two meetings against the Trojans in the series, but Friday’s opener marks the first meeting between the two sides since the 2002 season. LSU has outscored Troy by an 11-0 margin in two previous meetings that includes a 4-0 victory away to Troy to open the 2000 season and a 7-0 win at home during the 2002 non-conference season.
Troy returns seven starters and 13 letterwinners from a side that finished in fifth place in the Sun Belt Conference a year ago, and looks to build in its inaugural season under first-year head coach Jason Hamilton.
Midfielder Necee Jennings led the charge for the Trojans during her freshman season in 2013 as the team’s leading goal scorer with seven goals while earning First-Team All-SBC honors on her debut with the club. Troy actually returns its top two scorers from last season as midfielder Abby Reynolds netted four goals to form an effective midfield partnership with Jennings.
The Tigers return seven starters of their own from the 2013 season and are sure to feature a potent attack their top three and six of their top seven scorers ready for an encore this fall.
Striker Summer Clarke scored a team-leading 10 goals and midfielder Emma Fletcher dished out an SEC-leading 12 assists to set a new LSU freshman record as they picked up Second-Team All-SEC honors as rookies last season. Joining Clarke and Fletcher as a Second-Team All-SEC selection was standout left back Megan Lee who also makes her return to the squad this season.
Preseason All-SEC selection Fernanda Pina has scored four goals in each of her first two collegiate seasons with the Tigers, while midfielders Alex Arlitt and Heather Magee each scored two goals a year ago.
It will be Root Beer Float Night at the LSU Soccer Stadium as the first 250 fans through the gates will receive a free root beer float served in a collectible LSU Soccer mug. It will also be Baton Rouge Soccer Club Night and East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Night at the LSU Soccer Stadium with BRSC members participating in the pregame walkout, serving as the ball crew and playing a halftime scrimmage during the match.
The match will be preceded by the first of three “Friday Nights Under the Lights” youth clinics of the season as kids from kindergarten through the eighth grade or up to 13 years old are invited to take part in free small-sided games and juggling competitions from 6-6:30 p.m. CT on the practice fields adjacent to the LSU Soccer Stadium.
“Friday Nights Under the Lights” will also be held before kickoff of two other home matches this season against Northwestern State on Aug. 29 and Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 8.
After opening the 2014 campaign against the Troy Trojans on Friday night, the Tigers will continue their four-game homestand to start the season on Aug. 29, when they do welcome the Northwestern State Demons at the LSU Soccer Stadium with kickoff set for 7 p.m. LSU’s four-game homestand continues with matches against Rice on Sunday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m. and Nicholls State on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m.