BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Delaney Sheehan opened the scoring in the sixth minute of play with her second goal of the season and Caroline Brockmeier saved all four shots on target she faced as the LSU Tigers picked up their third win on the spin with a 1-0 blanking of Western Kentucky on Thursday night at the WKU Soccer Complex.
The Tigers (4-3) also pushed their winning streak to two-straight in the series after also topping the Lady Toppers (3-3) by a 4-1 margin at the LSU Soccer Stadium in Baton Rouge on Aug. 28 of last season.
Sheehan gave the Tigers an early 1-0 lead in the sixth minute of play when she headed Marlena Cutura’s corner kick from the right corner flag into the back of the net for her second goal of the campaign. LSU’s opener came from a nice switch of play by freshman Jade Clarke over the WKU defense to junior forward Jorian Baucom in the right side of the area for a shot that was deflected out by a recovering defender.
“It was definitely our goal to come out and get a goal early in the game, but I don’t think we accomplished necessarily our goal the rest of the game to stay on them and get a second or third goal,” Sheehan said. “It was definitely a struggle, but everyone, even though it wasn’t our best performance at all, we worked to not let them get in the back of the net the rest of the game.
“It was a challenge because they were on us the whole time, but we were able to keep them out of the net and come out with a win. That’s always the most important thing, especially away from home.”
Cutura served up her second assist of the season from the corner flag on Sheehan’s game-winner after registering the first of her collegiate career in LSU’s 1-0 win at College of Charleston on Aug. 21 as junior Jordane Carvery was the recipient in the team’s first win of the campaign.
“Marlena is really special in that she takes both left-footed and right-footed in-swinging corner kicks,” Sheehan added. “She puts them inside the six (yard box) nine times out of 10. So, we know that every time we go in for a corner kick, it’s a challenge that we can win. I saw it coming far post, and I saw Jordy (Carvery) and a girl in front of me go up and challenge. I didn’t have a player on me, so I just yelled as loud as I could at Jordy, ‘I’ve got it!’ I was uncontested, so it was nice that we could get the early goal at least.”
Junior Debbie Hahn was the next Tiger to go close as the clock rolled under 10 minutes to play in the first half as she flashed a free kick from the edge of the WKU box just over the crossbar to remain at 1-0.
Western Kentucky turned up the pressure in the second half while searching for the equalizer, but Brockmeier and LSU’s back four of Carvery, Clarke and Hahn along with senior Megan Lee were up to the task as the Tigers’ resolve would not be broken over the final 45 minutes.
Brockmeier was positioned to deny Haley Balridge with a driven effort from the top of the box after the Tigers defended the initial corner kick by the Lady Toppers in the 51st minute of play. The home side threatened again from a corner kick on the hour mark as Christina Bragado’s goal-bound header from eight yards out was tipped over the bar by Brockmeier to preserve the lead.
“Honestly, Jordy and Megan are so solid back there. I don’t know what I’d do without them in front of me,” Brockmeier said. “I always hear Jordy on the field, I always hear Megan. If I need help, they’re not shy to talk to me. They always get people in positions where they need to be, and that’s what you need in a game like that when you’re having to defend like that down the stretch.”
The Tigers are set to wrap up their four-game road swing on Sunday night with a trip to College Station, Texas, where they will face the 11th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies in their SEC opener at 6 p.m. CT at Ellis Field. LSU is ready to make its SEC Network debut this season on Sunday night as the match will also be streamed live on the SEC Network+.