BATON ROUGE - The Tigers surrendered the only goal of the match off the head of Aggie defender Rachel Lenz on a corner kick in the 13th minute of play as they suffered a 1-0 setback to 10th-ranked Texas A&M in Friday's Southeastern Conference opener before 1,910 supporters at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
The sixth-largest crowd in the stadium's history was on hand to witness the Aggies (7-1, 1-0 SEC) emerge victorious in their SEC debut as the Tigers (4-2-2, 0-1) saw their four-game unbeaten streak come to an end on a beautiful night for soccer in Baton Rouge.
"It was a good game. I thought we played well," said LSU head coach Brian Lee. "We certainly had our chances to get the lead in the first half. Texas A&M is very good with their set pieces on corners and free kicks. That's where the goal came from. I thought we did a nice job of limiting their chances other than that. We defended the run of play really well."
The Aggies broke the ice in the 13th minute of play when midfielder Jayne Eadie stepped up to the left corner flag for the team's second corner kick of the match.
Defender Meghan Streight got on the end of Eadie's service while battling an LSU defender eight yards in front of the net. Streight played a header to Lenz standing near the left post for an easy finish as Lenz buried the ball into the back of the net from two yards out to open her account with her first goal of the season.
The Tigers pressured for the equalizer before the break as junior striker Addie Eggleston beat an Aggie defender one-one-one and found herself on a breakaway in the 24th minute.
After separating herself from the Texas A&M back line, Eggleston raced into the left side of the area and fired a strike from eight yards that forced a leaping save Aggie goalkeeper Jordan Day, who poked the ball over the crossbar for an LSU corner kick. The Tigers nearly equalized on the ensuing corner kick when freshman midfielder Victoria Sample pounced on a loose ball near the top of the six-yard box and nearly got a free look on goal as Day raced off her line and made a diving save to deny the tying goal.
The teams combined for just seven shots on target in a match lacking in opportunity as the Aggies held a 4-3 advantage on the final scoresheet. Texas A&M also doubled up the Tigers with a 10-5 edge for corner kicks on the night.
"The second half was just a nothing game," Lee said following the match. "They were able to kill off the game by pressing our midfield a little bit more. They stopped us from passing the ball. They turned the game into launching 40-yard balls, and that is going to favor them."
The Tigers look to return to the win column on Sunday afternoon as they return to the pitch for an SEC West derby against the Alabama Crimson Tide in a match that is set to kick off at 1:06 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. It marks LSU's fourth television appearance of the season as CSS Sports will provide the coverage of Sunday's action.