BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Junior All-SEC striker Jorian Baucom netted two goals on either side of halftime and freshman midfielder Caitlin Cantrill found the scoresheet for the first time as a Tiger to lead the LSU Soccer team to a 3-0 shutout of Indiana on Friday afternoon at the Hoosier Challenge Cup held at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Brockmeier also helped the Tigers (2-3) snap their two-game losing streak by saving each of the six shots on target she faced from the Indiana (2-2-1) attack on the afternoon.
The Tigers have now scored seven goals without reply in their two-game series with the Hoosiers as they also defended their home field as 4-0 winners in the final match of the 2015 Stomp In The Swamp held in Baton Rouge on Sept. 6 of last season. LSU has won each of its last three matches against Big Ten Conference opposition after also shutting out Minnesota, 1-0, on Aug. 30, 2015.
“We’ve been attacking really well these last couple of games, but just don’t have the goals to show for it. I thought we were much more clinical in our attack today and got the goals we deserved,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “I’m proud of our effort throughout the match. Hopefully, we can take some confidence from our performance today and take that into Sunday’s match.”
The Tigers withstood the early pressure by the Hoosiers before taking control of the match midway through the first half as Baucom nearly found the scoresheet 20 minutes in when she was played in behind Indiana’s back line on the breakaway by fellow All-SEC striker Summer Clarke. Her effort from eight yards out hit the side netting just outside the right post.
But Baucom got her goal in the 34th minute when she headed Gabriela Maldonado’s cross from the right end line into the back of the net for her second goal of the season to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Junior forward Nicole Howard twice came close to scoring her first goal as an LSU Tiger when she was first denied by the crossbar on a curling shot from the top of the box in the 37th minute before she forced Indiana’s goalkeeper Sarah L’Hommedieu into a diving save to her right on another stinging drive from outside the box.
Cantrill doubled LSU’s advantage before the break with her first career goal as she pounced onto the rebound following a scramble in the box and found the opening to slot the ball into the side netting inside the right post for the 2-0 lead at the 43:13 mark of the first half. It was Marlena Cutura’s corner kick that led to Cantrill’s debut goal as the Hoosiers were unable to clear the danger with time ticking away.
“It feels really good to secure that and have that under my belt. It just gives me a lot more confidence on the ball,” Cantrill said of getting off the mark against Indiana. “The ball came in and I shot it once to Jorian. They cleared it back to me, and I was able to pick a spot and put it right there to the side net.”
The Tigers were back on the attack out of the break as senior Delaney Sheehan won a penalty for her side with a nifty cutback in the right side of the area where she was taken down by her defender. Baucom stepped up to the spot and buried her second penalty kick in as many games to give the visitors a commanding 3-0 lead with just 50 minutes gone in the match.
After being held off the scoresheet in LSU’s first three matches, the First-Team All-SEC striker has now scored three in her last two appearances. She led LSU with six shots and three shots on goal against Indiana.
“Our main focus this week has been to be more clinical in front of goal and have that courage to get in front of every cross, keep taking shots and beating players down the line,” Baucom said. “I think we really focused on that, and it showed up in our results at the end of the match. I don’t think anyone checked the ball up once. We all just stayed composed and did what we needed to do, and it ended up in three goals.”
LSU stayed on the attack in the final stages as Cutura came close to her first goal of the season in the 57th minute when her curling strike from outside the area pinged off the crossbar providing a let off for the Hoosiers in defense. Baucom nearly completed her hat trick in the 68th minute when she controlled Howard’s centering pass, shielded her defender and fired on target from close range as L’Hommedieu tipped the ball over the bar and out of a play for a corner kick. The Tigers finished with a 24-11 advantage in total attempts in the match.
With the victory, LSU wrapped up the first day of the Hoosier Challenge Cup at the top of the team standings on goals scored with three points. Butler scored a 2-1 win over SMU earlier in the day for three points.
The Tigers wrap up their appearance at the Hoosier Challenge Cup on Sunday afternoon with a short trip to Indianapolis to face Butler in a match that is scheduled to kick off at Noon CT at Varsity Field. They continue a four-game road swing next week with matches at Western Kentucky on Thursday followed by their SEC opener at Texas A&M on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.