Soccer Blanks Bulldogs for SEC Road Win, 1-0
STARKVILLE, Miss. – LSU’s First-Team All-SEC striker Jorian Baucom scored what proved to be game-winning goal from the penalty spot in the 60th minute of play, while goalkeeper Caroline Brockmeier saved all five shots on target she faced on the night to lead the Tigers to a 1-0 SEC road win at Mississippi State on Friday night.
The Tigers (7-9, 2-6 SEC) got back in the win column while snapping a five-game losing streak in SEC play and extending their winning streak to 12-straight against the Bulldogs (6-9, 1-7) since the 2005 season.
The Tigers have not enjoyed as much success in a series in their history than that with Mississippi State as they improved their to 19-2-1 in 22 matches played between the two programs in their history. They remained unbeaten in their last 15 meetings while improving to 14-0-1 against the Bulldogs since 2002. LSU has also never lost in Starkville with a 10-0-1 mark all-time in 11 matches played at the MSU Soccer Field.
“SEC road wins are very hard to come by, and we’re happy to come away with the three points tonight,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “I’m very proud of our effort. I thought we stayed organized and worked so very hard defensively for 90 minutes, and then took advantage when we had opportunities on the other end. We’re looking forward to going back home for our next three.”
The Bulldogs were on the front foot after taking the opening kickoff and nearly broke through with the opening goal just seven minutes into the match if not for a fine double save by Brockmeier. The Tiger goalkeeper palmed away MaKayla Waldner’s open look from 10 yards and then came quickly to her feet to deny the Mississippi State’s rookie striker the rebound from the top of the six-yard box.
Brockmeier kept her focus in the final minute of the first half when Bulldog defender Ari Holmes forced a leaping save from the center circle to win a corner kick as the clock ticked under 30 seconds to the break.
The Tigers went on the attack themselves in the early stages of the second half, and their effort was rewarded on the hour when Alex Thomas’ end-line cross was handled inside the six by a Mississippi State defender. Baucom made no mistake with the ensuing spot kick as she netted her team-leading 10th goal of the season to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the 60th minute.
Baucom has been lethal from the penalty spot throughout her collegiate career as she remained a perfect 5-for-5 on the season and improved to 11-for-14 on spot kicks in her three seasons with the Tigers. She scored the 33rd career goal at the 59:43 mark to pull to within seven goals of Artie Brown’s school record of 40 goals for a career.
Freshman Ellie Weber nearly iced the game in the final five minutes when she pinged a left-footed strike off the crossbar from Nicole Howard’s corner kick in the 86th minute. The Bulldogs were let off the hook when a rebound by Thomas was cleared off the line and Summer Clarke fired a second effort into the side netting to keep the score at 1-0 and set up a grandstand finish for the visitors.
The Tigers were outstanding defensively throughout the match with juniors Debbie Hahn and Jordane Carvery partnering in the middle and freshmen Weber and Jade Clarke manning either outside back position.
“We talked a lot in practice this week about everyone staying on the same page,” Hahn said. “Jordy (Carvery) did a really good job directing everybody tonight, and I listened to every word she said. Ellie was out on the left making her first start out there, and she listened to Jordy and I the whole game. Jade was extremely solid. Our communication was the best I think it’s been all season.
“The communication was definitely the key, especially from Jordy and myself. I think that’s why we were able to clean up some mistakes we’ve been making defensively and improve from recent games.”
The Tigers are now ready to wrap up the regular season with a three-game homestand beginning Thursday night as they play host to the 13th-ranked Auburn Tigers at the LSU Soccer Stadium with kickoff set to begin at 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. They also host Alabama on Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. and 11th-ranked Arkansas on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. with both matches being streamed on the SEC Network+.