Orange Beach, Ala. - For the second time in program history, the LSU soccer team is headed to the SEC Tournament championship match. The seventh-seeded Tigers won 1-0 over the sixth-seeded and No. 17 South Carolina Gamecocks via an own goal in the 66th minute on Friday at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
Marlena Cutura sent in the corner kick that wound up being the game winner for the Tigers, who improved to 13-6-2 with the win. Her service into the 6 was first touched by South Carolina's keeper, Mika Krzeczowski, and she was unable to maintain possession and knocked it in the net behind her. South Carolina dropped to 13-5-1 on the season, and two of those five losses have come to the Tigers.
Caroline Brockmeier made four saves in the match, two of which came in the first 10 minutes of play, to pick up the 23rd shutout of her career. The win was also the 28th of her career, which moved her into a tie with Robyn DesOrmeaux for second most in LSU history. The shutout also moved Brockmeier's season total to nine, which is a career high, and it is the second most clean sheets to ever be recorded in a single season in LSU history alongside Valerie Vogler (2007).
The first half had a back-and-forth tempo that saw the Gamecocks outshoot LSU (6-2) in the first half with two shots on goal to LSU's one. The best opportunity for an LSU goal in the first half came off the first corner kick of the game for the Tigers. Marlena Cutura sent a ball in and found the head of Abbey Newton, who was on the far side, and her header from eight yards out was squared up by Krzeczowski.
With the win, the Tigers advance to Sunday's championship match against the fourth-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks. First kick for the championship match will be at 1 p.m. CT and will be televised on the SEC Network. The Tigers have reeled off three impressive results in the last six days to get to where they are now. LSU beat 10th-seeded Missouri on Sunday, 3-2, in double overtime before advancing past the second seed (No. 12 Tennessee) in penalties on Tuesday. Fourth-seeded Arkansas has beaten Ole Miss (No. 5 seed) and Florida (No. 8 seed) to advance to the championship match.
Quotes of Note
"It was a really good performance by everybody. Really clinical from start to finish. The first half was okay and we had one really good chance, and then we got better in the second half. I thought we brought a bit more energy in the second half and that changed the game." - Head Coach Brian Lee
"Our women really want to win. Now we're to the final hurdle, the championship game. Our women will bring a championship attitude with them on Sunday." - Head Coach Brian Lee
"We know how good we are. We believe in ourselves. We know what we are capable of and we are starting to show that now." - Lucy Parker, First Team All-SEC member
"One-hundred percent effort, 100 percent hard work, we will never give up. Not until that final whistle gone. We'll fight until we get the result we want." Lucy Parker on the championship match on Sunday
- Second SEC Tournament title match in program history for LSU
- South Carolina has given up 10 goals all season, three of those are to LSU
- LSU entered the week with only one player, Alex Thomas, having played in a SEC Tournament match
- It's the first time that LSU has picked up two top-25 wins in a single season since 2011
- The 13 wins are the most by LSU since 2015
- Arkansas or LSU has never won an SEC Tournament championship