BATON ROUGE – Four different goal scorers found the scoresheet during Friday’s preseason exhibition match as senior Emily Cancienne, junior Jodi Calloway and freshmen Summer Clarke and Emma Fletcher helped the LSU Soccer team deliver a decisive 4-1 victory over the Nicholls State Colonels at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
Fletcher and Clarke combined for each of the first two goals of the match as the Tigers took an early 2-0 lead inside of 20 minutes from the opening kickoff.
Clarke scored the breakthrough in the 16th minute when she flicked the ball past Colonel goalkeeper Amanda Boylson inside the far post on an end-line cross from Fletcher near the right end line and inside the six-yard box. Clarke then returned the favor just four minutes later when she dribbled into the left side of the area and drew Boylson off her line to defend before centering to Fletcher standing near the penalty spot for an easy one-time finish into an empty net in the 20th minute of play.
Clarke, a native of Richmond, British Columbia, and Fletcher, a native of Victoria, British Columbia, showed a chemistry that has developed throughout their youth careers in Canada while playing alongside one another in the Canadian Women’s National Team system and Vancouver Whitecaps Elite Girls program before joining the Tigers this fall.
“It’s the coolest thing,” Clarke said of combining with Fletcher on their first goals as LSU Tigers. “I’ve been playing with Emma for five or six years now. We have good chemistry together. It was fun to have my first goal experience with her tonight. It was one of the most fun games I’ve had in a while. I thought our team meshed well together in our first game. It was a good start for the team.”
“I think our strengths complement each other,” Fletcher added. “She (Clarke) has amazing speed. I managed to find her quite often tonight. That usually results in a goal for us.”
Clarke came close to scoring a second goal with just 10 minutes remaining in the first half. After beating Nicholls State’s defensive back line, she found herself one-on-one with the keeper, but Boylson denied Clarke in a diving attempt for one of her seven saves on the night.
The Tigers took a 3-0 lead into the halftime break when senior Emily Cancienne scored her first career goal in an LSU shirt in the 40th minute of action. After subbing onto the pitch just four minutes before, the native of Baton Rouge volleyed a loose ball over Boylson’s head from near the top of the box to give the Tigers a decisive three-goal advantage heading into the locker room.
While the Colonels attempted just two shots in the match, they scored their loan goal inside of two minutes from the restart by converting their only corner kick opportunity of the night. Following a service inside their box by Jess Coates, Shelby Smith found herself alone in the area and fired a 12-yard strike that found the back of the net at the 46:50 mark to cut LSU’s advantage to 3-1.
But junior Jodi Calloway gave the Tigers a three-goal lead once again in the 85th minute with just her second career goal as she calmly finished a centering pass by Clarke with a 14-yard right-footed strike from in front of the goal with Colonel goalkeeper Taylor Mosley unable to deny the attempt after substituting for Boylson late in the second half.
The Tigers put pressure on the Colonel defense throughout the match while firing 21 total shots with 11 shots on goal and attempting five corner kicks in their first 90-minute contest of 2013. LSU’s defense limited their opponent to just two shots and one corner kick on the night in the 4-1 victory.
The Tigers are set to open up the 2013 regular season on Friday, Aug. 23, when they play host to in-state rival Louisiana Tech with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. LSU opens the regular season with a four-game homestand as admission is free to each of the team’s nine home contests during the 2013 season.