BATON ROUGE – Senior midfielder Delaney Sheehan opened the scoring in the 11th minute of play and junior All-SEC striker Jorian Baucom followed with her first career hat trick to lead the Tigers to their second win on the bounce with a 4-0 thrashing of the visiting Lamar Cardinals on Sunday afternoon at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
Baucom netted her first goal of the day in the 32nd minute before completing her hat trick with goals in the 50th and 67th minutes of the second half as the Tigers (6-4) picked up their fifth win in six matches.
Baucom’s hat trick was the first by an LSU Tiger since fellow All-SEC striker Summer Clarke put three past Arkansas during her freshman season in a 5-3 win on Oct. 4, 2013. She had previously scored two goals in a game on three occasions during her collegiate career with her last brace coming in LSU’s 3-2 win at Kentucky in the 2015 regular-season finale on Oct. 29 of last year.
The Tigers went one better while putting four goals past Lamar (1-7-1) without replay on Sunday afternoon after shutting out Ole Miss, 3-0, in their Southeastern Conference home opener on Friday night to finish off a weekend sweep at the LSU Soccer Stadium for the first time this season. They have certainly found their form in recent weeks while improving to 5-1 in their last six matches in all competitions.
“We’ve seen a nice progression from our team through the first half of the season,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “This has certainly been a great weekend for us. We feel like we’re starting to get the results that we deserve with the work we’re putting in during training and in the games. We’ll continue to work hard and develop those relationships on and off the field that will be key for continued success in SEC play.”
Sheehan put the Tigers on the board first just over 10 minutes into the match with a cracking finish from 20 yards as she took one touch outside the box and curled her effort beyond the reach of Lamar’s diving keeper Rachel Gries inside the left post. Clarke assisted Sheehan’s third goal of the season as she played the ball directly into the scorer’s path with a strong tackle at the edge of the box.
Clarke nearly added a goal to her assist in the 23rd minute when she was played through on a breakaway, but her close-range effort was deflected out of play for a corner kick by a recovering Lamar defender.
Sophomore forward Gabriela Maldonado quickly joined the fray less than two minutes after entering the match midway through the first half. Despite the Cardinals catching Baucom with the offside trap in the middle, Maldonado was well onside to run onto Megan Lee’s through ball one-on-one with Gries in the left side of the area. Her attempt found the side netting around the near post in the 31st minute of action.
Baucom doubled LSU’s advantage in the 32nd minute by converting her first shot on target of the match as she buried a free header from inside the six-yard box off Jordane Carvery’s end-line cross down the right side. Carvery dribbled out from her center back position down the right flank and went unchecked to the end line where she found Baucom standing alone at the far post.
Baucom wasted no time in scoring her second of the afternoon coming out of halftime when she received Sheehan’s entry pass with her back to goal, rounded her defender and finished inside the top-left corner for a 3-0 lead in the 50th minute of play. Junior forward Nicole Howard was also credited with an assist in the lead up to the goal.
Baucom finished her hat trick on 67 minutes following a 50-yard sprint and finish after Clarke played her into space from LSU’s defensive third. The Scottsdale, Arizona, native dribbled past the Cardinals’ back line for an easy near-post finish from eight yards to give the Tigers their final 4-0 margin at the 66:25 mark.
With a team-leading nine goals in 10 matches this season, Baucom has now scored 32 goals in 52 career appearances as an LSU Tiger as she is just eight goals off Artie Brown’s school record of 40 goals from 2001-04.
“We know that our non-conference games are just as important as our SEC games. We had to come in with a mindset that it was a good win against Ole Miss on Friday, and we just needed to take that momentum into this game today,” Baucom said. “This was a very important game for us to win in order for us to stay in the mix with the SEC and NCAA tournaments coming up. It was great to get the win.”
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Brockmeier didn’t even need to make a save in the match to post her fifth clean sheet of the season as the Tigers limited Lamar to just one shot attempt in the 90 minutes. Her goals against average for the season dropped to 1.00 after keeping her fourth clean sheet in her last six starts for the Tigers.
The Tigers head back on the road in SEC play next week as they travel to Columbia, South Carolina, to face the 10th-ranked Gamecocks on Thursday night with kickoff set for 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network+. They are set to wrap up next weekend with a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday, Sept. 25, when they square off against Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. also on the SEC Network+.