Sophomore Lucy Parker scored her third goal of the season and freshman Abbey Newton netted her third in a hard fought 2-0 victory over the Samford Bulldogs.
The Tigers and Bulldogs played a very entertaining 90 minutes as both teams made nice runs down the flanks, creating more than a few scoring opportunities for their respective teams.
The first chance for the Tigers came in the 10th minute after some nice interplay got the ball inside the 8-yard box and sophomore Tinaya Alexander was able to get a shot on goal, but the Samford keeper made a quick reflex save.
Samford, playing a high backline and pressing high upfield, put the Tigers defenders to the test, and they certainly rose to the challenge.
“We really like to play out, we like to pass, play backline to midfield to frontline, but when we face a high backline sometimes we have to skip a line and I think we’re getting better at that,” LSU coach Brian Lee said.
“Honestly, we were just trying to play composed in possession, we didn’t want to just keep smashing the ball forward because it was just inviting the pressure, and we were able to do that for the majority of the 90 minutes,” sophomore defender Lucy Parker said.
The British duo of sophomore Chiara Ritchie-Williams and Parker stood firm in the middle of the defense, while the versatile senior Alex Thomas made great runs down the right side of the field and also made great plays on the defensive side as well.
“She’s (Thomas) such a good attacker down the right side and we don’t feel that we lose much with her attacking from the backline as opposed to her attacking from the frontline, and we needed another defender and her 1v1 defending has been really good as well,” Lee said.
The Bulldogs got their first corner of the game in the 15th minute, but were unable to do anything with it as the ball was cleared away by an LSU defender.
The Tigers had more chances starting in the 18th minute, after Alex Thomas made a piercing run down the right side, and whipped in a nice cross but the Samford keeper punched it away.
Just one minute later, junior Marlena Cutura played a over-the-top through ball to sophomore Adrienne Richardson in the 18-yard box but her first touch pushed the ball too far to her right, and she wasn’t able to get a shot off.
Samford continued to push for their first goal, and after a nice sequence of passes in the 30th minute got the ball into the 18-yard box in a 2v2 situation but were unable to get a shot on goal.
After a number of chances, the Tigers finally got on the board in the 39th minute, after freshmen Reese Moffatt cut in from the left side about 30 yards out and lobbed a pass in to Parker who was able to control the pass and rifle a shot on the half volley into the side netting.
Parker, who has played center back in most of her starts this year, has been able to join in the attack all year having already contributed two goals and four assists before tonight.
Following halftime, the play was not quite as exciting, as both teams appeared to be wearing down and feeling the effects of playing three games in just five days.
The chances were few and far between, but in the 82nd minute, the Tigers won a corner, and junior Marlena Cutura whipped in a good ball to the back post and freshmen Abby Newton was there to head the ball in from about two yards.
The Tigers will head to College Station for their SEC opener against Texas A&M on Friday September 14th, with a 7:30 p.m. start time.