It was fun while it lasted, but the LSU Tigers (13-7-4) lost to the better team in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the USC Trojans on Friday (17-2-2).
Throughout the first 45 minutes, it was clear that the Trojans didn’t take their opponent lightly, playing aggressively in the attack trying to get the first goal of the game. LSU was able to stay compact in the defense and not allow too many good chances for the USC attackers.
But in the 36th minute, the Tigers backline was overwhelmed, and the Trojans got the first goal of the game, giving them a 1-0 advantage going in to halftime.
LSU’s offense on the other hand, struggled in the first half, not able to put together any real chances on goal, and only having one shot which came in the 41st minute by junior midfielder Marlena Cutura, but the ball sailed over the crossbar.
The Tigers came out firing the first 10 minutes of the second half, taking three shots in that span. Just 50 seconds into the second half, sophomore defender Lucy Parker hit a rocket from about 25 yards out curling to the top right corner of the goal, but the USC goalkeeper made an incredible diving save to her left to stop the shot.
Unfortunately for LSU, that was about all the chances they would have for the remainder of the game, and the momentum swung in the Trojans' favor at about the 53rd minute mark.
In the 57th minute, USC caught the Tigers defense napping, and crossed a ball in to a wide open Trojan forward, who easily headed the ball to senior goalkeeper Caroline Brockmeier’s left and she could not make the save, giving USC a commanding 2-0 lead.
The Tigers could not muster a comeback as the Trojans continued to press, not allowing the Tigers to throw more numbers forward to try and get a goal.
While the game itself was not very close on the stat sheet, LSU played extremely hard, and did not give up even after going down 2-0. Even with the result, the team can certainly be proud of how hard they fought and what they did to get themselves in position to advance to a sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
It certainly will be a bittersweet ending for seniors Caroline Brockmeier, utility player Alex Thomas and midfielder Chrissy Pitre, but in the big picture, the Tigers had a great season, winning their first SEC Tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.