BATON ROUGE - LSU's senior striker Carlie Banks opened her account with her first goal of the season in the 28th minute of play to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead, but the NC State Wolfpack stormed back to take home a 2-1 victory on a steamy Sunday afternoon at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
The Tigers (1-1-1) broke the ice at the 27:31 mark when Tiger left back Nina Anderson stole possession near the midfield stripe and made a class run into the left side of the penalty area. Anderson found Banks on a centering pass in the middle of the area as Banks fired a 14-yard strike inside the right post to give LSU a 1-0 lead.
The Wolfpack (2-2) answered 10 minutes later when sophomore defender Shelli Spamer rifled NC State's first shot of the match off the crossbar from 35 yards and freshman striker Shannon Colligan followed with the rebound from the top of the six-yard box for her first career goal at the 37:43 mark. The sides took a 1-1 draw into the halftime break.
Sophomore forward Cheyenne Spade gave NC State a lead it would not relinquish in the 52nd minute when she fired a one-time volley into the back of the net from the top of the six-yard box following a free kick service to the far post by Spamer near the right sideline.
"We're disappointed, and the kids are disappointed too. We've just got to keep working to get better," said LSU head coach Brian Lee. "Box-to-box, we played really well. We created a lot of chances but just couldn't finish. We've got to have more accountability across the board. We have to be mentally strong enough to keep passing and step up to finish chances. The chances came for us, we just didn't finish at times and their keeper (Victoria Hopkins) made a couple of really good saves."
Sophomore Alex Arlitt and freshman Haley Emerson provided the best chances for the Tigers to tie the score in the final 15 minutes of regulation.
In the 78th minute, Emerson was played in behind the Wolfpack back line and found herself on a breakaway one-on-one with Hopkins. As Hopkins raced off her line, Emerson fired a shot from the spot that missed finding the net inside the left post by a matter of inches. Arlitt followed just over a minute later when she was also played in behind the NC State back line and fired a strike from 12 yards that was saved by a diving Hopkins toward the right post.
The Tigers held the advantage on the scoresheet with a 14-12 edge in total shots and a 7-6 margin in shots on goal, as well as a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.
The Tigers resume their 10-game homestand next weekend as they will play host to Stephen F. Austin on Friday night at 7 p.m. CT before battling Houston on Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. at the LSU Soccer Stadium. LSU's match with Houston is slated for a live television broadcast as fans across the Southeast can see the Tigers in action on Cox Sports Television for the second time in as many weeks.